Predicted 30-year toll: 280 million tons of carbon emissions
News about the climate seems to get worse by the day: Heatwaves, drought and severe storms are all over the news. Unfortunately, so is increasing pressure to produce more oil from places such as Alaska’s Western Arctic, where the Biden administration is considering approval for a project that would lead to massive carbon emissions for the next 30 years.
“No other oil and gas project has greater potential to undermine the Biden administration’s climate goals” - Karlin Itchoak, The Wilderness Society’s senior regional director for the Arctic region
ConocoPhillips’ proposed Willow project would add more than 280 million metric tons of CO2 to our atmosphere over its projected three-decade lifespan and result in enough infrastructure to lead to drilling at even more sites in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
“No other oil and gas project has greater potential to undermine the Biden administration’s climate goals,” said Karlin Itchoak, The Wilderness Society’s senior regional director for the Arctic region. “If this project were to move forward, it would result in the production and burning of at least 30 years of oil at a time when the world needs climate solutions and a transition to clean energy.”
Public can now weigh in on project's impacts
It is vital that we stop exploiting and destroying our public lands. The Arctic is ground zero for climate change, where temperatures are rising two to four times faster than the rest of the planet. Villages are eroding into the sea, thawing permafrost is making infrastructure insecure and food sources are disappearing.
In the weeks ahead, the federal Bureau of Land Management is expected to release a final supplemental environmental impact statement for the Willow Master Development Plan, which was modified after a federal judge ruled last year that the Trump administration failed to adequately assess the long-term environmental and climate impacts of the project. It is vital that BLM select a “no action” alternative to prevent this disastrous project from becoming a bleak reality.
At approximately 23 million acres, BLM lands in the Western Arctic make up the largest single remaining unit of wild public land in America—bigger than 10 Yellowstone national parks, and nearly the size of the state of Indiana. Its pure water, clean air and abundant wildlife are critically important to the survival of Indigenous communities in the region.