The 9th Circuit ruled that the plan, which involves refreezing and then drilling the Arctic, could irreparably harm the landscape and the people who depend on it. A Conoco-Phillips drill site in the Western Arctic. For decades, the oil industry has drooled over the chance to drill into the oil-rich depths beneath the Arctic tundra. But there’s one big problem: As fossil fuel emissions heat our planet, permafrost — the once permanently frozen layer of Arctic soil — is melting, making it harder (and more expensive) for oil and gas companies to set up drilling operations. This literally shaky ground might encourage some companies to change their ways and invest in clean energy. But ConocoPhillips has a different solution. Refreeze the tundra — then drill for oil. The company’s plan is a classic example of the fossil fuel industry’s capacity for single-minded greed. But thanks to Earthjustice litigation and a recent court order, ConocoPhillip’s plan just fell through the ice . Caribou in the Western Arctic. ConocoPhillips’ attempts to refreeze the Arctic so it can drill for oil began back in 2018. In May of that year, it sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management requesting approval […]

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