An oil project planned for the North Slope in Alaska has been halted by U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason, an Obama appointee.

The “Willow” oil project, owned by ConocoPhillips and supported, oddly enough, by both the Trump and Biden Administrations, would provide 160,000 barrels of oil a day over 30 years.  The project was challenged in court by environmental organizations, including the Center for Biological Diversity and Earthjustice.

Judge Gleason said that the environmental review of the project by the Bureau of Land Management, part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, did not consider the impacts the project would have on climate change and polar bears seriously enough.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal:

“ConocoPhillips will be reviewing the decision and evaluating its options, a spokesman said. The company declined to answer further questions.

“Company leaders had been encouraged this spring when the Biden administration decided to defend the Trump-era decision to permit the project. But Conoco’s final investment was always dependent upon whether the company could navigate tricky and potentially lengthy court challenges at a time when oil markets aren’t particularly friendly to major spending in Alaska.”

The full story in the Wall Street Journal can be found here.


  • Adam Houser

    Adam Houser coordinates student leaders as National Director of CFACT's collegians program and writes on issues of climate and energy.