Center for American Progress

RELEASE: The Biden Administration’s Easiest Climate Win Is Waiting in the Arctic
Press Release

RELEASE: The Biden Administration’s Easiest Climate Win Is Waiting in the Arctic

Washington, D.C. — The Biden administration wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent by the end of the decade. Part of that strategy is to vastly expand renewable energy development on public lands and waters. But a single oil lease in the Alaskan Arctic threatens to wipe out all the promised emission reductions from the new renewable energy sources.

A new analysis from the Center for American Progress finds that the carbon emissions expected from the controversial Willow oil drilling project under consideration in the Western Arctic would more than double the greenhouse gas emissions avoided by fulfilling President Joe Biden’s renewables pledge on public lands and waters by 2030.

The project by ConocoPhilips is estimated to extract more than 160,000 barrels of oil per day for the next 30 years. The fate of the project now lies with the Biden administration, which is currently conducting a supplemental environmental analysis to determine if the project can proceed. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management comment period for the project closes on March 9.

“President Biden’s renewable commitments are ambitious and exactly the path that the United States needs to be on going forward,” said Jenny Rowland-Shea, deputy director for Public Lands at CAP and author of the article. “But the Willow project is a climate disaster in the making. The administration should take this opportunity for a climate win and block this catastrophic project that is utterly inconsistent with its climate goals.”

Read the column: “The Biden Administration’s Easiest Climate Win Is Waiting in the Arctic,” by Jenny Rowland-Shea

For more information, or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org.