Consortium Statement on the Approval of the Willow Oil Drilling Project in Alaska

The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health opposes President Biden’s decision to approve the Willow oil drilling project in Alaska. This decision essentially places the interests of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the health of people. By the Biden Administration’s own estimates, the Willow project would generate enough oil to release the equivalent amount of emissions from two million gas-powered cars per year, undermining the Administration’s own goals to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050. The burning of fossil fuels pollutes our air and causes tens of thousands of premature deaths in this country alone each year. The science is clear: we cannot continue prolonging the use of harmful fossil fuels by approving new fossil fuel projects if we hope to avoid catastrophic warming and protect human health. The Willow project moves forward one of the largest oil development ventures in decades and significantly slows our ability to build a more healthy, equitable, and livable future. As physicians and health professionals, we urge the Biden Administration to stay true to its commitment to transition off fossil fuels by not supporting new projects for drilling.

The views of the Consortium do not necessarily represent the views of each individual member society. All members and affiliates support the Consensus statement.