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Environmentalists continue effort to block large Alaska oil and gas project

The project has the the support of Alaska’s congressional delegation, the Alaska state legislature, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, organized labor, private industry, and the Inupiat living closest to the project.

Published: November 16, 2023 1:24pm

Updated: November 16, 2023 4:50pm

After a federal court ruled against environmentalists who wanted to stop the Willow oil and gas development in Alaska, the two coalitions have reportedly appealed the decision.

The plaintiffs filed separate appeals appeals Tuesday with the 9th U.S. Circuit, arguing that the federal judge had erred last week when giving the Willow project the green light, the Alaska Beacon reports.

The Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement on last week’s decision that an appeal was forthcoming.

“This is a really sad decision for Arctic wildlife and the climate,” said Kristen Monsell, a senior attorney at the center. “The Willow project poses a clear threat to people and ecosystems, but the Biden administration approved this carbon bomb without properly accounting for that potential damage.”

Rick Whitbeck, Alaska state director with Power The Future, told Just The News that the project has the support of Alaska’s congressional delegation, the Alaska state legislature, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, organized labor, private industry, and the Inupiat living closest to the project.

“The radical environmentalists don’t know when to give up,” Whitbeck said. “For the plaintiffs to continue this fight shows they care nothing about the potential lost jobs nor the U.S. energy security that Willow will help bring. Their fight to stop Willow is out of touch with science, the economy and the law, and I expect the 9th Circuit will show them that once again, soon.”

The Biden administration approved the Willow project in March, but it included restrictions on offshore oil and gas leasing in the Arctic Ocean and Alaska’s North slope.

The $8 billion project by ConocoPhillips has the potential to produce 629 million barrels of crude oil over 30 years.

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