Business Leaders Say Willow Project Undermines Clean Energy Economy

Media Release

The Biden administration has approved a controversial $8bn drilling project on Alaska’s North Slope. The ConocoPhillips Willow project will be one of the largest of its kind on US soil, involving drilling for oil and gas at three sites for multiple decades on the 23m-acre National Petroleum Reserve which is owned by the federal government and is the largest tract of undisturbed public land in the US. The project will emit the same amount of carbon as 76 coal fired power plants.

“Today’s decision to approve the Willow Project in Alaska will lock in decades of dirty and dangerous oil and gas production and challenge the trajectory we must be on to guarantee a just and sustainable economic future. Investments in the fossil fuel industry are bound to be stranded investments if we are to transition towards a clean energy future that scientists and business leaders agree on, says David Levine, President, American Sustainable Business Network

The president promised to bring about a clean energy transition and has worked hard with congress to deliver on this agenda. This decision to approve the Willow project is a step backwards towards antiquated technology that pollutes. Proponents of the project need to be provided an economic future that does not put our climate and communities further at risk. President Biden needs to use his executive authority to deliver on this promise by setting strong standards that cut climate pollution, support innovation and continues to transition our economy away from fossil fuels.”

“By moving forward with the Willow Project, the Biden Administration demonstrates that it stands with the fossil fuel industry and is not ready for a just, equitable energy transition,” said Deenaalee Hodgdon, Climate and Conservation Storyteller with Businesses for Conservation and Climate Action. “Currently communities across the circumpolar north are facing detrimental food insecurity and impacts to our ways of life due to the ongoing extraction of resources. Further development of Alaskan oil, or indeed any American oil and gas, is a profound mistake that will make it harder to achieve a secure & just transition away from carbon-intensive industry. We must continue to uphold the rights of the land and Indigenous Peoples while grieving the impacts of this decision.”

The Biden administration’s decision to greenlight the Willow project is a climate disaster in the making,” said Jade Begay, Director of policy and advocacy at NDN Collective. This decision completely contradicts not only the administration’s climate goals, but also its commitment to consider Traditional Ecological Knowledge in federal policy making. The Native Village of Nuiqsut has repeatedly voiced their concerns about ow the project will impact local ecosystems - including caribou, which they rely on for subsistence. The immoral decision will have devastating impacts on the livelihood of the people of Nuiqsut and beyond.”

“The Willow Project will lock in irreversible climate pollution for the next 30 years, jeopardizing the president’s own climate goals and pushing us further into a climate emergency. The science is clear: fossil fuels are driving the climate crisis, and there is absolutely NO room for new fossil fuel projects if we are to keep global warming below 1.5C. Seventh Generation calls on President Biden to reverse this disastrous decision, and keep his promise to protect biodiversity and halt new fossil fuel development on federal land.” – Ashley Orgain, Global Impact Officer at Seventh Generation.

About ASBN

The American Sustainable Business Network partners with business organizations and companies to advocate for solutions and policies that support an equitable, sustainable stakeholder economy. ASBN is a multi-issue, business organization advocating on behalf of all sectors, sizes, and geographies of industry. ASBN and its association members collectively represent over 250,000 businesses across our networks. ASBN is coalition-focused in our approach to solving the pervasive and systemic issues of climate and energy, infrastructure, circular economy, and creating an inclusive just stakeholder economy. ASBN is changing the rules by which business is done so it is better for all people and the environment.