The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
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Sunrise: Approving the Willow Project Abandons Millions of Young People Ahead of 2024

Today, in response to President Biden's decision to approve the Willow Project, Sunrise Movement Executive Director, Varshini Prakash, released the following statement:

President Biden's decision to move forward with the Willow Project abandons the millions of young people who overwhelmingly came together to demand he stop the project and protect our futures.

When President Biden ran in 2020, he committed to end new oil and gas drilling on public lands and waters. Today's announcement flies in the face of that promise. Instead of sticking to his own goals and listening to the millions of young people who carried the party for the last three cycles, President Biden is letting the fossil fuel industry have their way.

Young people across the country are furious with this decision, demonstrated in the over 650 million views on TikTok that have called for President Biden to stop the Willow Project. This voting bloc is vital to Democrats if they hope to win in 2024. Since Gen Z turned voting age, there have been 3 cycles in a row that has had historic or nearly historic turnout. Additionally, ahead of the 2022 midterms, 79% of voters said climate change is at least very important in their vote, making decisions like this one even more consequential.

As the single largest oil and gas project proposed on US public lands, ConocoPhillips' Willow Project would be a gateway to significant new extraction - at a time when we need to be ramping down fossil fuels - not opening up vast new fields. It will emit more pollution annually than 99.7% of all single-point sources in the country and lock us into decades of dirty energy.

Sunrise Movement is a movement to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process.