The Willow Project brings us one step closer to extinction

Moving forward with the Willow Project shows the government’s disregard for our environment

On Mar. 13, the Biden Administration approved the controversial Willow Project in Alaska. The Willow Project is an oil drilling project by ConocoPhillips in Alaska. They plan to drill and operate five oil drill pads for 250 oil wells. Since its approval, there has been a notable uptick in online activism to stop oil drilling from happening, with millions of people signing a petition on and sending letters to the White House. We want to be a part of a movement seeking to protect the environment. 

Many Alaskan Natives from the Native village of Nuiqsut are concerned about their environment and health as they live closer to the project’s planned area to drill. Not only have many people in the area expressed their concerns, but by supporting the program, President Biden also broke a promise he made in his campaign. 

In his 2020 presidential campaign, Biden vowed to end new oil and gas drilling on public lands and water. Since getting elected, however, Biden’s administration has opened many areas for new drilling on public lands and water. The utter lack of moral consistency from the administration on this front is alarming. Those who voted for Biden based on his campaign promises must be feeling a complete disregard for their opinions to help our world. 

For generations, indigenous people in Alaska have relied on fishing and hunting to survive. So how will they survive when the population of animals in Alaska die out? 

Alaskan natives are afraid of the long-term effects the oil wells will have on the environment and animals that live in the region. According to the Washington Post, “many locals are less enthused about the oil revenue and more concerned the project may harm local animal populations that are key to the community, degrade the region’s air quality, and lead to spills, leaks and blowouts that can come with major oil development.” 

The Willow Project is projected to dump 9.2 million metric tons of planet-warming carbon pollution into the atmosphere every year – equivalent to adding 2 million gas-powered cars to the roads. This project completely goes against what Biden had campaigned for in the 2020 election; according to Carlsbad Current-Argus, Biden stated, “No more drilling on federal lands. No more drilling, including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period, ends, number one.” 

What does this mean for the environment?

With each year that passes, global warming becomes a greater and greater problem, and this project represents a big step in the wrong direction. This project is controversial when it comes to reducing the consumption of fossil fuels. 

Environmental activists and groups are rising up and trying to overturn the Willow Project. These groups are also trying to file a lawsuit against the Biden administration and project because of the damage they are doing to the earth. 

The White House has garnered a reputation for not listening to what their constituency has to say about matters, whether it’s gun laws, abortion laws and now oil drilling on public lands. When will it come to an end? We’ve put far too much trust in the government for too long regarding our lives and futures; the actions they have taken haven’t made up for the repercussions they made for their actions. 

But what can we as citizens do? Sonny Ahk made a petition on to stop the Willow Project from happening. With over five million signatures and only a million more signatures to go, this could have an effect on what happens with the project. 

While it may not change everything, we need to try and make a change. If we lay down and let Washington go ahead with dangerous projects like The Willow Project, we are letting our future slip away through our fingers