The Willow project is not a “carbon bomb.”

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) estimates that Willow will create only a fraction of 1% of all U.S. emissions.

The vast majority of those – approximately 0.1% of 2019 U.S. annual emissions, or 0.3% of anticipated 2030 U.S. annual emissionsi – will come from consumer end-use products such as gasoline for cars, diesel for tractors and fuel oil for home heating. These emissions, known as “Scope 3 emissions,” are not from sources owned or controlled by ConocoPhillips. In other words, even if Willow weren’t developed, these emissions would still occur because fuel is still needed in the United States – but in that case the economic benefits of producing the needed energy would accrue elsewhere.

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  • Willow will use modern technology and practices to minimize operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Government data indicates Willow direct (Scope 1 and Scope 2) emissions from the Final SEIS would be lower than 709 other GHG emitters in the U.S.ii
  • The BLM concluded that Willow’s annualized direct and net indirect emissions (4.3 million tonnes per year) are comparable to approximately one theoretical coal-fired power plant.

The Willow project will not use “chillers.”

Responsible North Slope development – including Willow infrastructure – uses what are known as passive thermosyphons, which allow ground heat to transfer out of the permafrost. These devices are not “chillers” as some have falsely claimed. They are standard Arctic engineering devices that have been in use since the 1960s, and are commonly used when constructing buildings, railroads, bridges and subsistence ice cellars. They require no external power supply.

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  • Passive thermosyphons are simple devices, usually vertical sealed pipes that are partially embedded in the permafrost. Pressurized two-phase gas (typically natural refrigerants such as CO2 or NH3) moves through the sealed closed-loop system, driven by the difference in temperature between the cold winter air and the warmer ground temperature. As the vapor/condensate moves, heat is transferred out of the permafrost. Read more about thermosyphons and how they work here.


Alaska Native groups support the Willow project.

The North Slope and Alaska Native communities closest to Willow have voiced strong support for the project. In order to gather comments on the project from the people closest to Willow’s proposed site, ConocoPhillips participated in multiple years of engagement including over 150 in-person meetings with local residents and stakeholders, and the BLM held 25 public hearings in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Nuiqsut, Utqiagvik, Atqasuk and Anaktuvuk Pass. Feedback from these meetings shaped the design of the project.

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  • Ensuring Willow will have minimal impact on the subsistence lifestyle of Alaska Native residents is a priority. As a result, many subsistence mitigation measures were built into the project design, including road access for local community members, boat launches, subsistence road pullouts and subsistence trails.
  • Multi-year baseline studies in the Willow area found subsistence harvests have remained at or above previous levels for the duration of ConocoPhillips existing operations near Nuiqsut. These studies will continue throughout the Willow project’s lifetime.Read letters of support from Alaska Native communities and organizations.

The Willow project is on land that the federal government designated for petroleum development and is subject to strict environmental protection requirements.

Willow is located on the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), land which was set aside 100 years ago specifically for petroleum development. Roughly the size of Indiana, the NPR-A covers approximately 23 million acres. The Willow gravel footprint is 385 acres, which is less than 0.002% of the total NPR-A. In the area where development will occur, activities are comprehensively regulated to protect air, water, wildlife and other valuable public resources.

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Willow was designed to co-exist with wildlife.

ConocoPhillips maintains strict operational requirements for wildlife protection, building on a four-decade track record of continuous engineering improvements to avoid and minimize wildlife impacts in our operating fields on the North Slope. Science-based engineering design features at Willow include seven-foot-high pipelines as well as road and pipeline separation to allow for continued caribou movement and herd distribution. Additionally, to minimize the risk of hazards to birds, there are no power lines at Willow.

All permanent Willow infrastructure is outside of designated polar bear critical habitat. Polar bears are not expected in the Willow area, which is inland from the coast. Willow was also designed to have minimal impacts on fish and to subsistence fishers. Facilities are designed to be greater than 500 feet from fish-bearing water.

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  • The company works with respected scientific firms on a variety of studies and monitoring programs including air quality, wildlife (caribou, birds, polar bears and fish), archaeology, subsistence, habitat mapping, hydrology and water quality. These studies and data are provided to regulatory agencies in connection with permitting and to document compliance and are reflected in the Willow project plans. Reports from these studies and monitoring efforts are available to the public on the North Slope Science Initiative website.

Alaska’s entire bipartisan U.S. Congressional delegation supports the Willow project.

Alaska’s entire U.S. Congressional delegation – Democrats and Republicans – supports Willow because of the benefits it will provide to the state of Alaska and Alaska Native communities, while also enhancing U.S. energy security.

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  • Hear from the bipartisan Alaskan U.S. Congressional delegation here.
  • Hear from the first Alaska Native representative in Congress, Representative Mary Peltola, here.

The Alaska legislature unanimously approved the Willow project.

The Alaska state legislature unanimously adopted a resolution supporting Willow, urging President Biden and the Department of Interior to approve the project.

  • Read the Alaska State Legislature’s unanimous resolution in support of the Willow project, here.

The Willow project will provide critical revenues for Alaska starting on day one.

Willow could generate between $8 billion and $17 billion in new revenue for the North Slope Borough and local communities, as well as the state of Alaska and the federal government, according to U.S. BLM estimates. The project is also projected to create 2,500 construction jobs and 300 long-term jobs.

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  • Federal legislation requires 50% of federal revenue from the NPR-A be made available through the NPR-A Impact Mitigation Grant Program to local communities, which provides significant social and environmental justice benefits by funding city operations, youth programs and essential community projects which in turn create local jobs.
  • Property taxes from the Willow project will help fund essential services such as schools, emergency response capabilities, health clinics, drinking water, wastewater, roads, power and solid waste disposal.

The Willow project will reduce American dependence on foreign oil.

The BLM found that if Willow doesn’t proceed, 52% of the replacement energy will be oil imported from foreign sources. Most, if not all, of the foreign sources would have lower environmental and GHG standards – and must be transported to the U.S., an additional emissions impact.

This information is detailed in the BLM market substitution analysis. Simply put, Willow’s projected production will reduce American reliance on foreign supply and support U.S. energy security by producing reliable, low emissions-intensity oil from an existing petroleum reserve.


The world will need oil for decades to come.

Credible net-zero projections show significant demand for oil for decades to come. The International Energy Agency’s “Net Zero by 2050” pathway shows global oil demand at 24 million barrels per day in 2050iii – considerably less than today but also approximately twice what is currently produced by the U.S. During the transition, energy should come from the best possible projects and sources.

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  • Given this reality, it’s important to develop projects that adhere to strict environmental standards. The Willow project was studied for years before its eventual permitting and evolved based on input from Alaska Native residents and results from baseline studies.
  • ConocoPhillips acquired the first Willow-area leases in 1999 and began the development permitting process in 2018. Since then, the project has undergone multiple years of rigorous regulatory review and environmental analysis.
  • If Willow were not developed, other countries would produce that oil to meet demand, which means we would be sending jobs, tax revenue and other economic benefits to other countries.