The Biden administration approved the Willow project. Now what?
What can you do to prevent Willow and similar projects from moving forward?
The Biden administration announced on Monday that it has approved a scaled-down version of the ConocoPhillips Willow Project. “Scaled down,” in this case, means three oil wells rather than the proposed five. This version of the Willow, which includes roads, gravel pits and an airstrip, is projected to produce 576 million barrels of oil and emit 239,040,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of the annual emissions of more than 60 coal-fired power plants. ConocoPhillips may still have to apply for drilling permits and rights-of-way.
So what can we do?
Put pressure directly on ConocoPhillips.
While oil companies aren’t directly accountable to members of the public, they do care about their reputation. You can sign a petition to ConocoPhillips asking them to stop the project, write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper urging ConocoPhillips to rethink its plans or recruit some friends to make some signs and gather at a ConocoPhillips gas station to collect some petitions.
Ask insurance companies to make policies against insuring Arctic drilling.
No one can drill for oil without insurance. You can call or email U.S. insurance companies such as Travelers, The Hartford, Chubb and Liberty Mutual and ask them to commit to a policy against insuring drilling projects such as the Willow Project.
Call your members of Congress, governor and state legislators and ask them to support clean energy, clean transportation and electrification.
As we transition to using more solar and wind energy, more electric vehicles and public transportation and more electric appliances from stoves to leaf blowers, the less oil and gas we need. The faster we can move past fossil fuels, the faster projects such as Willow become irrelevant. Sign this petition to your governor asking to go big on clean energy.
Stay involved in campaigns to protect the Arctic.
The Biden administration has announced that it may protect up to 13 million acres in the Western Arctic, near the site of the Willow Project. We expect to have many opportunities for public input and the more people raise their voices, the better our odds are to protect as much of those special areas as possible.
If you’re interested in recruiting other folks to help, organizing phone banks, letter writing or attending events including public hearings, please contact Environment America’s Public Lands Campaign Director Ellen Montgomery.
Director, Public Lands Campaign, Environment America
Ellen runs campaigns to protect America's beautiful places, from local beachfronts to remote mountain peaks. Prior to her current role, Ellen worked as the organizing director for Environment America’s Climate Defenders campaign. Ellen lives in Denver, where she likes to hike in Colorado's mountains.