On Monday March 13, 2023, the Biden Administration approved the Conoco-Phillips Willow project, a massive oil drilling proposal that would become the largest on federal lands in the United States. In response, the Natural Resources Council of Maine released the following statement from Federal Project Advocate Anya Fetcher:
“The Biden Administration’s approval of the Conoco-Phillips Willow oil project is a bad decision that ignores the urgency of climate change and undermines our transition to a clean energy future. Allowing a fossil fuel company to drill for oil in Alaska would pollute water, disrupt animal migrations, harm the health of local Indigenous populations, and result in the release of an unacceptable amount of carbon pollution.
The Willow oil project offers no solutions. On the other hand, investments from the Inflation Reduction Act and the bipartisan infrastructure law are already making a difference in people’s lives, helping them access cheaper, cleaner electricity, lowering pollution, and making our communities more resilient. With support from the federal government, Maine is developing home-grown sources of renewable energy like wind and solar that generate good paying jobs and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
Mainers are paying too much for energy right now because past leaders failed to move us decisively away from depending on oil and gas. From our inland lakes to the coast, our communities are already facing harmful impacts of climate change because we didn’t take the steps necessary to stop it when there was still time. As Maine is doing, the federal government should be choosing a path that moves us quickly and boldly toward a clean energy economy that works for everyone.”