Friends of the Earth Responds to Final EIS for Climate Disaster Willow ProjectBig Oil’s proposed Arctic carbon bomb is the next major test for Biden’s climate legacy
WASHINGTON – Today, the Biden administration’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for ConocoPhillips’ proposed Willow Project in the Western Arctic — the largest oil extraction project ever proposed on federal lands.
Raena Garcia, Fossil Fuels and Lands Campaigner for Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement:
Greenlighting the Willow project would banish President Biden’s climate legacy to one of irreparable and downright shameful environmental destruction. Big Oil’s exploitation of the rapidly warming Arctic has already thrust local communities onto the frontlines of the climate crisis, jeopardizing public health and polluting critical ecosystems. Biden must reject Willow and all attempts by the fossil fuel industry to profit at the expense of clean public lands and waters.
Climate, conservation and Indigenous organizations have continuously warned the Biden administration about the environmental and public health threats posed by Willow and criticized the BLM’s incomplete and rushed review process. The Willow project would add over 250 million metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere over the next thirty years, equivalent to the annual emissions from one-third of all remaining U.S. coal plants, or seventy-six new plants.
Locals in the western Arctic who have lived amid fossil fuel infrastructure for decades already report experiencing respiratory issues such as asthma, COPD, and chronic bronchitis. They have also raised the alarm about the harmful impacts this project would have on the western Arctic’s wild ecosystems and its food systems.
The BLM now has 30 days to release its Record of Decision (ROD), during which the Biden administration has the authority to weigh in and stop the project. Groups will continue mobilizing public pressure and demanding that Biden safeguard Arctic communities over the fossil fuel industry’s climate destruction.
Communications contact: Brittany Miller, [email protected], (202) 222-0746