The Willow Project


The Biden Administration has just approved the advancement of the Willow Project. This proposed $6 billion project, through ConocoPhillips (a Houston-based energy company), will allow more oil drilling pads in Alaska. It will be in the national petroleum reserve on Alaska’s north slope. The project is not new and was originally approved earlier through the Trump administration in October 2020.

In August of 2021, an Alaskan federal judge reversed the plan, stating that the known environmental analysis posted by the Trump administration was faulty. With this information, under President Biden, the Federal government decided to advance the project under a new environmental analysis and impact statement. The Bureau of Land Management suggested decreasing the number of drilling sites and cutting down the drilling lines’ footprint. 

The Willow Project has received much attention from supporters and deniers. On one side, the advocation for this project would build needed jobs, create federal revenue, and increase energy production. Although, environmentalists believe that this project would impact the planet negatively, not to mention the threat of harming local species and habitats. 

The decision to pass such a project will create political polarity on both sides. Biden has lost his “climate goal” and “going green” credibility but is subsidizing this by increasing domestic energy production. 

As of Friday, March 17th, environmentalists and indigenous groups have filed a handful of lawsuits opposing it, stating that the project violates federal law and the analysis is faulty; the same argument was made by the federal Alaskan judge back in 2021. Now there is a push for stalling construction until the lawsuit is decided.

Read the lawsuit here.