Project Decisions in Alaska Will Help Define Biden’s Conservation and Climate Legacy

A series of upcoming decisions in Alaska are uniquely poised to shape the contours of President Joe Biden’s conservation and climate record. Biden has already taken action—including in the Tongass National Forest and Northern Bering Sea—to restore damage done by the Trump administration’s attempted sellout of Alaskan forests, wildlife, and waters. However, the Biden administration faces strong pressure from stakeholders in the extractive industry and their political allies not to finish the job.

Check out the Center for American Progress article HERE to find out more.

Willow Backgrounder

America’s Western Arctic represents one of the most important fronts in the fight against climate change. Also known as the National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska, this 23-million-acre expanse of intact public lands is home to wildlife and Indigenous communities who have lived in the region since time immemorial. It’s also under dire threat from fossil fuel development as ConocoPhillips seeks final approval from the Biden administration for its disastrous Willow oil project – a proposal that would lock in decades of fossil fuel extraction and desecrate a massive swath of the pristine Western Arctic. Read more here.

Willow and Climate 101

Willow is a climate disaster America cannot afford. Here’s what you need to know.

How President Biden Can Align the Federal Fossil Fuel Program to Deliver on Climate and Put People Over Profits

Check out Evergreen Action & Earthjustice’s recent report, How President Biden Can Align the Federal Fossil Fuel Program to Deliver on Climate and Put People Over Profits, which outlines how actions like opposing the Willow project are key to meeting the Biden administration’s climate goals.

If Willow is Approved, Nuiqsut Community Will Be Completely Engulfed by Oil and Gas Development

The maps below show how the Willow project would completely encircle the Indigenous community of Nuiqsut with oil and gas development.

Bureau of Land Management Willow Analyses

Take a deeper dive into federal agency analyses of the Willow project by reading the Draft Supplemental EIS.

The Draft Supplemental EIS comment period closed on August 29, 2022. BLM is currently reviewing and responding to comments and writing the Final Supplemental EIS.

EPA Warns of Significant Climate and Environmental Justice Impacts

In a letter submitted to the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency called out the significant environmental justice and climate impacts Willow would have. The EPA also called some of the climate impact calculations presented in the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact (DSEIS) “misleading.”

Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council, and The Wilderness Society Urge Biden Administration To Evaluate Climate Impact of Willow

Learn about how the Willow project is a climate disaster in waiting and the need for federal agencies to conduct more robust analyses of the project’s impacts from this Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council, and The Wilderness Society comment letter. 

161 Businesses and Organizations Urge Department Of Interior To Decline To Approve Willow

161 businesses and organizations from across the country sent a letter to Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland urging the administration to deny approval for ConocoPhillips’ massive oil and gas project located in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

You can read the letter HERE

EARTHJUSTICE: Bureau Of Land Management Has Authority To Take No Action On Willow

Learn more about the Bureau of Land Management’s authority and need to oppose the Willow project from this Earthjustice Comment Letter

Four Reasons The Willow Project Is Unfit For Approval

The Center for American Progress’s top four reasons why the administration needs to reject the plan or go back to the drawing board:

  1. The proposed project is a climate disaster in waiting.
  2. The analysis for the project covers only a sliver of ConocoPhillips’ plans for the area.
  3. New information on the risk of gas leaks has not been properly assessed.
  4. ConocoPhillips has played an influential role in the environmental review.

Read more HERE

Members of Congress Urge Sec. Deb Haaland To Reverse Course on Defending Willow

A bi-cameral coalition of Members of congress sent a letter to the Secretary of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland urging that the agency reverse course on defending the Willow project and asking that DOI rescind its approvals of Willow and reanalyzed the project under the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act to disclose its true impacts.

For More, Read the Congressional bicameral sign-on letter to Secretary Haaland opposing the Willow project.