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July 8, 2022

Earthjustice Responds to Biden Administration’s Environmental Review for Massive Alaska Oil Drilling Project

ConocoPhillips’ Willow plan, which would emit massive levels of CO2, still moving toward approval despite climate impacts

Contacts

Jeremy Lieb, Earthjustice attorney, jlieb@earthjustice.org, (907) 792-7104

Becca Bowe, media contact, rbowe@earthjustice.org, (415) 217-2093

Anchorage, AK

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) this evening released a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement signaling that it is continuing to consider approval of a massive oil and gas drilling project on public lands in Alaska’s Western Arctic, despite its significant climate impacts. Proposed by oil giant ConocoPhillips, the Willow project, if approved, would lock in three decades of fossil fuel extraction in Alaska’s rapidly warming tundra, releasing more than 275 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. The draft supplemental EIS will be followed by a public-comment period before a final supplemental EIS and decision are released.

Earthjustice attorney Jeremy Lieb, who led litigation challenging an earlier version of Willow, issued the following statement in response:

“We are disappointed to see BLM moving forward with considering the Willow plan when it is so clearly inconsistent with the goals this administration has set to transition away from fossil fuels and avert the worst consequences of the climate crisis. This single project, which will release a staggering amount of climate pollution, threatens to send us dangerously off track by undercutting urgently needed measures to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. ConocoPhillips is one of the major oil companies to experience windfall profits this year thanks to skyrocketing gas prices. Yet approving its oil-drilling plan would do nothing to bring down consumer prices at the pump, since production wouldn’t start for nearly a decade. We think a thorough assessment of the project’s impacts will demonstrate that Interior should not approve it.”

About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.