Protect Our Public Lands

Public comment delivered by Public Lands Campaign Director, Ellen Montgomery

Below is a public comment delivered by Public Lands Campaign Director, Ellen Montgomery, at a virtual public meeting about the proposed ConocoPhillips Willow Project in the Western Arctic Reserve.


My name is Ellen Montgomery, I’m the public lands campaign director and I’m calling in from Denver, CO. I urge the BLM to choose the proposed Alternative A: No Action Alternative.

The Willow Project would harm a delicate ecosystem and intensify our climate emergency.  

The Western Arctic is also home to wildlife including caribou, polar bears and many migratory birds. 

The rising temperatures associated with climate change have made fossil fuel extraction more difficult and more expensive due to melting permafrost. Yet, we persist with new fossil fuel projects. This needs to stop.

The proposed 30 years of oil drilling from the Willow Project will extract 500 million barrels of petroleum from this snowy sanctuary, and the project will single-handedly release annual emissions equivalent to 66 new coal fired power plants operating in a given year.  In 30 years we should be off oil

If approved, the Willow Project will also require new infrastructure such as drill sites, miles of gravel roads, bridges, an airstrip, hundreds of miles of ice roads and a gravel mine in this fragile ecosystem. Even before the oil drilling begins, the construction and transportation involved in the creation of infrastructure will pollute the area and fragment wildlife habitats 

Authorizing Willow would be a significant step backward in the global climate fight.

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