"The approval Monday of ConocoPhillips’ massive Willow project in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve is teeing up a new high-profile legal brawl that will likely align the Biden administration and Republican lawmakers against environmentalists who have largely backed the president’s climate agenda.
The pared-down project opens up three new oil and gas drilling areas of the western North Slope — two fewer than originally proposed by the oil company — but green groups say the approval still undermines the Biden administration’s commitment to halve nationwide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The brewing legal battle highlights a sharp divide between a Democratic administration and environmental groups over the extent to which public lands and federal waters should be available for oil and gas development.
“We are going to work with our clients to move forward with litigation,” said Bridget Psarianos, senior staff attorney at Trustees for Alaska, which previously led a successful lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s approval of the Willow project. “We’ll be moving quickly on that.”"