The Willow Project Must Be Stopped


The Willow Project is the single largest oil extraction project that has been proposed on federal lands; it is expected to increase atmospheric CO2 levels by more than 250 million metric tons during the following 30 years. President Joe Biden passed an executive order directing the US government to cut its own emission by 65% by 2030 with different measures including energy efficiency, electric vehicles and renewable energy.  He did this in 2021 with the intention of combating global warming, as he had promised to do during his campaign. Nevertheless, as of this week, the willow project has demonstrated that he has broken that promise. One of the biggest oil projects on public lands has been given the go-ahead by the Biden administration as of this Monday. ConocoPhillips, one of the biggest oil firms in the world, may now begin building the Willow project in northern Alaska in a matter of days thanks to the approval.

Instead of improving and going forward with climate change we have taken too many steps back. If this project isn’t stopped the damage will be irreversible. Scientists have already issued a code red warning to humanity if we do not rapidly transition away from fossil fuels and toward a more clean form of energy, but the ConocoPhillips project will create a huge spike in global warming making it impossible to go back from where we were before. 

This is a massive, multi-decade oil drilling project on Alaska’s North Slope in the federally owned National Petroleum Reserve. The oil drilling project would produce 629 million barrels of oil over a 30-year period, but burning that oil would release approximately 278 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, a cause linked to global warming.

In 2018, ConocoPhillips announced the Willow Project, a $6 billion oil drilling project on federal land that supporters claim will bring jobs and revenue to Alaska while reducing the country’s reliance on foreign oil. Additionally, they believe that the Willow will enhance national and energy security, boost Alaska’s economy, and assist communities on the North Slope as well as across the state.

The Willow Project has come back into conversation. Recently, there have been so many different opinions on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and many other forms of social media. Alaskan state’s lawmakers claim that the project will increase employment, increase domestic energy output, and reduce the nation’s reliance on foreign oil. While environmentalists fear the project poses a serious threat to the environment and would have a negative impact on climate change, if it proceeds, climate change will be nearly impossible to prevent when it is finished.

Our school’s students will also be impacted by this. This is due to the fact that it will have such a detrimental impact on the world due to climate change. Up to a third of the emissions produced by all of the nation’s coal plants would be produced by the Willow Project. The ConocoPhillips Willow Project would not only generate emissions on its own, but it also has the potential to cause dangerous gas leaks that could lead to additional environmental problems.

According to environmentalists, approval has been a betrayal by our president who made a promise of ending new oil and gas drilling on federal lands and who has prioritized combating climate change. The Willow Project is being fought against by environmentalists. On social media, the #StopWillow movement began to gain popularity. Activists report that the White House has received more than a million letters. There are many more petitions, but one online petition alone has 2.9 million signatures, while another has more than 850,000.

The expansion of oil infrastructure may exacerbate the industry’s impact on sensitive ecosystems, wildlife, and food security. Moreover, it would harm wildlife habitat for caribou, polar bears, and migratory birds, among others. The massive infrastructure of the Willow project would cut right through these critical habitats, rerouting animal migration patterns, forcing them to migrate from nearby villages and jeopardizing local produce security. Additionally, the harm caused by air and water pollution would be massive as well. 

The Biden Administration has already given the green light to The Willow Project, but that doesn’t mean we can’t stop it. We can still put pressure on President Biden to cancel this devastating project. By calling, writing letters to the White House, and signing petitions, we can make this happen. When this project does start, it will obliterate habitats and adversely alter our climate for all time. The project would have a lasting impact on the surrounding ecosystem, the fauna of the Arctic, and the local people who depend on the region for their livelihood.