Willow Project Would Be a Disaster for Alaska and the Climate


Ian Brickey, ian.brickey@sierraclub.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Department of the Interior issued a key environmental assessment regarding ConocoPhillips’ oil and gas operation in the Western Arctic, commonly called the Willow project.

The controversial Willow project is estimated to be a significant source of carbon pollution and driver of climate change, potentially adding more than 250 million metric tons of carbon emissions to the atmosphere over the next 30 years, equivalent to the annual emissions of 66 coal plants. 

The administration now has 30 days to make a final decision on whether to approve the project.

In response, Sierra Club Senior Campaign Representative Mike Scott released the following statement:

“We are disappointed with the Department’s recommendation. The Willow project would have a devastating effect on public lands and our climate, and approving it after passing the largest climate bill in history would be a giant step in reverse. The administration still has 30 days to review this recommendation before coming to a final decision, and we urge President Biden and Secretary Haaland to block this disastrous project.

“Allowing Willow to move forward will pose a threat to some of Alaska’s last undisturbed wilderness, to the populations of wildlife that call it home, and to the public health of nearby communities and makes it harder to achieve our climate goals. We must end new leasing on public lands and conserving more nature to secure our climate future.” 

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.