In just the past week, supporters all over the country have helped the #StopWillow campaign “go viral.” As of March 8th, across social media platforms, hashtags related to #StopWillow have more than 650 million views, helping to drive nearly 5 MILLION petition signatures across campaign partners.
In fact, the #willowproject is the second most trending hashtag on TikTok (only Justin Bieber could top this issue, apparently), and millions of supporters have taken action through calls and petition signatures to the Biden Administration.
And while this viral social media has piqued significant media and lawmaker interest, #StopWillow’s unprecedented public awareness has extended beyond social media to Congress, major news outlets, the Department of the Interior and on-the-ground rallies. This moment comes on the heels of weeks of strategic planning, coalition efforts, partner promotion, 3x weekly rapid-response calls, local outcries, and urgent actions. It’s taken not just a village, but a country to raise this issue to the top of the ranks.
This coalition worked in tandem with those living closest to the project and saw tremendous attention on the issue, including a letter to the Department of the Interior from Nuiqsut residents including Nuiqsut Mayor Rosemary Ahtuangaruak.
In Congress, lawmakers have stepped up to submit a letter with more than 30 signatures to the administration to call for an end to the project.
Across several digital and print platforms including the Albuquerque Journal, New York Times and Wilmington News-Journal the League and partners ran a series of ads, targeting decision-makers like Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland and President Biden.
“The more that you can tell the story of this project in this place, the more people are going to understand how important it is to stop.” – Kristen Miller, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League<<< Featured in Anchorage Daily News
‘They don’t live there’: Alaska activists take Willow Project protest to White House
On the ground, we literally lit up Secretary Haaland’s office to make sure she couldn’t miss the message.
And we just returned from a rally in front of the White House calling on President Biden to stop Willow from moving forward.
With this level of effort and recognition comes an incredibly powerful base of support, not just to protect the Arctic, but to continue fighting against an oil and gas industry that has maintained a disproportionate level of power and control over public land decisions for decades. Regardless of the final outcome from the Biden Administration, the impact of the moment is clear: Voters and future voters alike won’t go down without a fight.
What the coalitions, content creators, and activists all understand is that the climate impacts from Willow would be massive, potentially putting out of reach President Biden’s climate commitments. And missing those targets will make it increasingly difficult to keep warming below what scientists say is necessary to avert the worst effects, putting our future at risk. The Willow Master Development Plan is the single largest oil extraction project proposed on public lands today and if approved, would emit pollution over its 30-year lifespan equivalent to 76 coal-fired power plants running for a year. It’s no surprise that such a consequential decision shouldered its way to the top of social trends this week.
While we wait for the final call, we hope you’ll check out some of the best content to come across our feeds and share with us anything we missed! Thank you for everything you’ve done to help stop this project. We’ll keep you updated on what comes next.