Opinion: Willow Project is Concerning
President Biden’s administration has approved the controversial Willow Project, a massive oil drilling project in Alaska.
The large-scale oil drilling project had been going through the administration’s approval process for months until its approval on March 13. Throughout these months, climate change activists have been protesting this project by sending more than one million letters to the White House and a Change.org petition that has over 3 million signatures.
So, what is the Willow Project?
The Willow Project is a massive $8 billion oil drilling project on Alaska’s North Slope in the National Petroleum Reserve. It would open up 600 million barrels of oil and would produce 239 million metric tons of CO2 in 30 years. Most of the oil produced would take years to reach the market since the project has not even begun construction.
Originally, ConocoPhillips, the company that proposed Willow, was approved by the Trump administration in 2020 and was initially set to construct five pads. The Biden administration however, reduced it down to three pads. Although the Biden administration had approved The Willow Project, it might take some time before construction can even begin due to impending legal challenges. Earthjustice is an environmental law group that will more than likely file a complaint against the project and try to block the project from going forward.
Why should you be concerned?
As I said before, when started, the project would produce 239 million metric tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. This is the equivalent of 64 coal-fired power plants. The Willow Project would be a “carbon bomb,” according to environmental organizations.
Essentially, the noise, traffic, and pollution would not only be devastating to those who call Alaska their home but would affect the world as a whole. People may think that it is only animals being affected but that is not the case. There are Indigenous Alaskans who would be affected by The Willow Project as well. The project threatens the caribou population which is a vital resource many native communities rely on. This project goes directly against Biden’s campaign promise as well.
Here’s three ways you can help:
- Sign the Change.org petition.
- Write to The White House
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
- Contact Local Representatives
You can find out where your local representatives stand regarding the issue and contact them. If you are not sure of your congressional district or who your representative is you may use this government website.