If you have been online at all lately, you have probably heard of the Willow Project, which was just recently approved by President Biden’s Administration. However, if you haven’t heard of it, or have, but aren’t quite sure what it entails and what it means for the future, I am here to give an explanation.
Firstly, the Willow Project is a drilling project in Alaska. According to Reuters, “Biden’s Interior Department on Monday approved a version of the project that would include three drill sites and less surface infrastructure than originally proposed.” An oil and gas drilling project, specifically. “The Willow project is a roughly $7 billion proposal from ConocoPhillips to drill oil and gas in Alaska.” This project will take place in the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska (NPRA). The NPRA, according to Reuters, is, “a 23 million-acre (93 million-hectare) area on the state’s North Slope that is the largest tract of undisturbed public land in the United States.” Land that has so far been able to sustain and support wildlife. After this decision, though, that will no longer be the case.
Even though the approved project is a scaled down version of ConocoPhillips’ initially proposed five drilling sites, there are still extreme environmental repercussions that this project will bring. Back during Trump’s administration, this project had been approved with its total five sites, “but a federal judge in Alaska in 2021 reversed that decision, saying the environmental analysis was flawed and needed to be redone.” Not a shocker that Trump’s administration would’ve submitted a faulty environmental impact statement, an administration that made its way by ignoring the environment for the sole focus of growing an even greedier economy.
This is where the opposition comes in, and the part everyone should know about. According to CNN, “By the administration’s own estimates, the project would generate enough oil to release 9.2 million metric tons of planet-warming carbon pollution a year – equivalent to adding 2 million gas-powered cars to the roads.” Ultimately, no small thing. Further, The New York Times writes, “The burning of oil produced by the Willow project would cause 280 million metric tons of carbon emissions, according to a federal analysis.” Already, “The United States, the second-biggest polluter on the planet after China, emits about 5.6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.” This project would only grow this number in a grossly greedy way.
Biden’s Administration has set out from day one to diminish our country’s carbon emissions, and yet, our country is now being taken in the complete opposite direction. This process, started by Trump, has now come to fruition. Instead of protecting this land, some of the last disrupted land our country has, is being turned into an incubator of greenhouse gasses. Again, our leaders have chosen money over the health of their citizens. While Alaska could be growing jobs through endeavors into clean energy, they are taking the quickly lucrative path, ignoring how this is going to impact our planet.
Those in power are ignoring the health and integrity of our country, and we need to step in and fight. A healthy world for our daughters and future generations is only possible if we take action and stay informed.
2 thoughts on “the Willow project and what you need to know”
Thank you for writing about this! I didn’t even know about it until recently and it’s so important to spread awareness
I knew somewhat what it was, but not fully in-depth. Thank you for providing links to different sources for extended reading about the topic! Super helpful!