Alaska Federal Judge Rules Willow Project Can Begin

Ava Stuzin, News Editor

U.S. District Court of Alaska Federal Judge Sharon Gleason rendered her decision in favor of the federal government and the oil corporation ConocoPhillips on April 3, approving the Willow Project.

Due to the court’s ruling, ConocoPhillips can proceed with the cold-weather construction projects, including mining gravel for a road, leading to the Willow Project. At its peak, the 30-year project may generate 180,000 barrels of oil per day.

Environmental advocacy group Earthjustice and law firm Trustees for Alaska filed the complaints against the Interior Department and its top officials, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies shortly after the Biden administration gave the project its approval.

The lawsuits link the Willow Project’s possible climate effects to threatened animals, such as polar bears, that live in the area of the project’s development.