Yet somehow a ConocoPhillips spokesperson maintains that “Willow will produce some of the most environmentally and socially responsible barrels of oil in the world … [Willow will provide] economic and employment opportunities,” the spokesperson said in a statement obtained by the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman. There is nothing responsible about fossil fuel extraction, especially for the communities that will be the most negatively impacted by Willow.
Still, the project somehow has support from some Indigenous groups and unions. When reached by the Anchorage Daily News, a former Alaska Department of Natural Resources commissioner noted that the project seems to have the quiet support of the Biden administration, too. Andy Mack shared his insights and said that the federal government and ConocoPhillips have “done as much to much as they can do to mitigate the impacts.” The paper later notes that in addition to being “chief executive of Kuukpik, the Alaska Native village corporation for Nuiqsut,” he’s also “an oil field services provider.”
It seems the support given for the Willow project comes from individuals who could stand to economically benefit from the project. For those of us more interested in benefitting from a less polluted environment, we’re hoping that the Biden administration changes its quiet cooperation to an equally muted decision to do less with what ConocoPhillips has proposed. As Bloomberg reports, ConocoPhillips will not move forward on the project if it includes less than three drilling locations.
“Anything less than a three-pad authorization would essentially be a project denial. It just wouldn’t be a viable project at that point,” ConocoPhillips President Erec Isaacson said.