What is the Willow Project?


Robert Valarcher

Photo Credit: Robert Valarcher/Biosphoto, via Alamy

Right now, the Biden administration is considering the approval of a billion dollar oil drilling project on the North Slope of Alaska, their first major oil drilling project during their time in office. Known as the Willow Project, it was proposed by ConocoPhillips, the largest oil producing company in Alaska. The proposal is for three operating drilling sites, active for decades of crude oil production.

The proposal has strong support from the Alaskan government and much of the population, as it is said to be one of the biggest revenue-producing developments for the state’s future, and could produce many new job opportunities and tax funds for public infrastructure.

However, the project could greatly disrupt the land and resources of nearby indigenous groups. Some groups are concerned that the drilling and land development could harm the animal populations and therefore their source of food and part of their culture and land.

And of course, there are the huge repercussions the project will have on the climate. According to the administration itself, the Willow Project would release 9.2 million metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year. That could add up to more than 287 million tons of carbon pollution. The project would also disrupt the fragile ecosystems of the region of Alaska. 

Biden pledged to stop new oil drilling on federal land, and many activists are saying the approval of this project would be a direct betrayal by the president, not to mention a huge step back from his goal of cutting carbon emissions in half.

Biden has done many great things towards the mission of stopping global warming and decreasing carbon emissions, but environmentalists see this project is a step back from the positive action of the past few years. There have been proposed restrictions to the proposal, but it has been determined that making these restrictions would hugely decrease the economic outcome of the project, and so they were refused.

A federal decision on the proposal is set to come in the next few days. There is currently a petition being shared addressed to President Biden and the Biden Administration to stop the project and reject the proposal.

LINK TO PETITION: https://www.change.org/p/joseph-r-biden-biden-administration-and-conocophillips-say-no-to-the-willow-project