Washington (March 13, 2023) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, released the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s announcement that it has approved the Willow Project:

“Approval of the Willow Project is an environmental injustice. The Biden administration’s decision to move forward with one of the largest oil development projects in decades sends the wrong message to our international partners, the climate and environmental justice movement, and young people who organized to get historic clean energy and climate investments into law last year. This decision not only leaves an oil stain on the administration’s climate accomplishments and the President’s commitment not to permit new oil and gas drilling on federal land, but slows our progress in the fight for a more livable future and puts into harm’s way the neighboring Native Village of Nuiqsut and the Arctic landscape. By investing in the fossil-fueled past and not the green-energy future, we are failing frontline environmental justice communities who are bearing the brunt of climate chaos, and American consumers who remain at the whim of rising and volatile prices of oil and gas. I am in solidarity with the community of advocates who oppose this disastrous decision and will continue fighting alongside them to put our people and our planet ahead of the profits of Big Oil.”

Earlier this month, Senator Markey and Representative Raúl Grijalva (AZ-07), Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, led 20 of their colleagues in a letter to President Biden calling on his administration to reject the Willow Project. Last month, Senators Markey, Cantwell, Heinrich, Bennet and Representatives Jared Huffman (CA-02) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) reintroduced the Arctic Refuge Protection Act, which would restore critical protections to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, another invaluable Alaska landscape, and permanently halt any new oil and gas leasing, exploration, development and drilling on the Coastal Plain.