01/25/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/25/2023 11:57
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500
CC: Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior; John Podesta, White House Deputy Chief of Staff; Ali Zaidi, Deputy White House National Climate Advisor
Dear President Biden,
I am writing to express Patagonia's strong opposition to the Willow Master Development Project in America's Western Arctic.
The Willow Project does not enjoy the full support of the local Indigenous community in Alaska. Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, the mayor of Nuiqsut, Alaska - the town that's closest to the project site - has warned the project would bulldoze through crucial habitat for caribou, fish and moose, which her people rely on for subsistence hunting.
Furthermore, the new climate guidance from the Council on Environmental Quality states, "Given the urgency of the climate crisis and NEPA's important role in providing critical information to decision makers and the public, NEPA reviews should quantify proposed actions' GHG emissions, place GHG emissions in appropriate context and disclose relevant GHG emissions and relevant climate impacts, and identify alternatives and mitigation measures to avoid or reduce GHG emissions.
The Inflation Reduction Act represents a first-of-a-kind, critical move on our nation's part to address the climate crisis. Your leadership on this is noted and appreciated - thank you. However, the Willow Project would result in the release hundreds of millions more metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hinder your administration's 2030 greenhouse gas pollution reduction target.
I am requesting that further study be completed to analyze the impacts of this project on caribou and on subsistence hunting, as well as quantify the projected greenhouse gas emissions that this project would generate.
The Willow Project would have grave impacts for future generations, and our window to act on climate is rapidly closing. We need to continue developing an economy focused on protecting people and the environment by harnessing the power of conservation and clean-energy jobs, not harmful fossil fuels. Let's work together to make sure we don't undermine your historic leadership in facing the environmental crisis. Saving our planet will require action from all levers of society. Patagonia and our community are here to work with you. As the conservationist David Brower said, "There is no business to be done on a dead planet."
Ryan Gellert, CEO, Patagonia