The federal government should not have approved the environmentally harmful Willow Project


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Oil drilling in Alaska, which is a key component of the Willow Project

Sadie Peterson, Staff Writer

The Willow Project is a proposal to create new oil fields on the Alaskan North Slope, which will unfortunately increase the effects of global warming in an area that is already struggling. 

Proposed by Alaska’s largest crude oil producer, ConocoPhillips, this project will cost the U.S. $8 Billion dollars and will become the largest new U.S. oil field in decades. The Willow Project will be detrimental to the environment and unnecessarily costly. It seems foolish to spend such large sums of money on a project that will rapidly advance the negative effects of climate change when current weather conditions have already become increasingly dangerous in a warming world.

 Studies have shown that The Willow Project will produce 9.2 million metric tons of carbon pollution per year, which is equivalent to adding 2 million gas powered cars to the road. Considering the extreme weather conditions and rising sea levels the country is already faced with, it’s questionable why anyone would want to support such a drastic increase in carbon emissions.

The benefits of the Willow Project are mainly economic, helping local communities by creating new jobs. Another benefit is that the Willow Project will reduce the U.S.’ dependence on foreign oil. However, other plans such as the Green New Deal would produce the same benefits in a much more environmentally friendly way.

The Biden Administration approved the decision on March 13, 2022. By voting yes, Biden is going back on his vow to end new gas and oil drilling on public lands that he made during his campaign in 2020. If the detrimental risk to the environment is not concerning enough, by voting yes, Biden will also lose a large portion of his supporters; the Willow Project is largely opposed by climate change groups and environmentalists.

The Willow Project received much negative attention on social media platforms such as Tiktok, Instagram and Twitter. #Stopwillow is currently trending, resulting in over one million letters sent by people opposing the Willow Project to the Biden Administration. An online petition on has received over 3 million signatures, becoming one of the top signed petitions on that site. Clearly, the harmful effects of the Willow Project outweigh any potential benefits it may have.