Alaska Wilderness League in Lawsuit Challenging ConocoPhillips’ Willow Project


March 16, 2023

Contact: Aileo Weinmann |

Alaska Wilderness League in Lawsuit Challenging ConocoPhillips’ Willow Project
Court filing today asks for immediate action before blasting begins this spring

Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, Alaska Wilderness League was among six groups that filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court challenging the Biden administration’s approval of ConocoPhillips’ Willow oil and gas project in Alaska’s Arctic. Today, the organization’s attorneys also filed for a preliminary injunction in the case, asking the court to step in before ConocoPhillips starts blasting a gravel pit for road construction.

On Monday, the Interior Department released a Record of Decision that approves ConocoPhillips’ Willow oil and gas project. It was based on a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement which relied on insufficient climate analysis, ignored threats to the air, land and water, and greenlighted impacts to subsistence resources relied upon by local communities. The largest new oil and gas project proposed on federal lands, Willow is a huge step backward from President Biden’s climate and public lands protection goals.

Statement by Kristen Miller, Executive Director, Alaska Wilderness League:

“We are deeply disappointed in the Biden administration’s approval of the Willow oil and gas extraction project in Alaska’s Arctic, and brought this challenge because project impacts weren’t thoroughly considered before approval,” said Kristen Miller, executive director of Alaska Wilderness League. “Today, ConocoPhillips is racing to start construction, and there are just days left before bulldozers start moving gravel and construction begins. This is not the path forward to address climate change, nor is it the right track to protect biodiversity in America’s Arctic.”


The Willow Master Development Plan project would emit pollution over three decades equivalent to 76 coal-fired power plants running for a year and would serve as a “hub,” for ConocoPhillips to industrialize America’s Arctic. In addition to significant fossil fuel emissions, the project would threaten the subsistence and wildlife values of the western Arctic, including key migratory paths that sustain food security for the nearby community of Nuiqsut and other communities that depend on subsistence resources.