The Impact of The Willow Project


Photo by Fleur

Picture of mountain Range with Wing of Airplane in Shot

Fleur Kelly, Staff Writer

The Willow Project is a six billion dollar proposal from ConocoPhillips to drill new oil fields on the Alaskan North Slope, which United States President Joe Biden has recently accepted. An outrageous decision in the opinion of many Biden voters, knowing Biden’s promise to voters during his 2020 presidential campaign. 


“President Biden will announce a new target for the United States to achieve a 50-52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution in 2030 – building on progress to-date and by positioning American workers and industry to tackle the climate crisis,” said the official White House website.


Since the beginning of his campaign, Biden made it clear that the prevention of pollution and climate change was a top priority. He had sworn to allow no new fracking, end oil, and stop gas drilling on public lands/waters.


Government officials are using the fact that The Willow Project could strengthen Alaska’s economy to shield themselves from the genuine concern for the environment. Despite the possible economic opportunities, this project would produce enough oil for 9.2 million metric tons of planet-warming carbon pollution annually. This level of pollution in the air could be proven deadly and destroy what little progress we have managed to obtain in our attempts to save the Earth.


The Willow Project will not only affect the overall health of the planet, but it will also disturb the Alaskan natives that have been surviving sustainably, living in Alaska for generations. 


“The Willow Project will be devastating for all those that call the Arctic home,” said Action Network. “The noise, traffic, and pollution the project brings will disrupt ecosystems that Indigenous Alaskans have relied on for millennia. And the project threatens the already vulnerable caribou population — a vital resource many native communities rely on.”


The Willow Project, indirectly or not, will cause more harm than good.


Many students, including myself, are concerned about how this project will affect wildlife and our futures, not to mention the generations that come after.


“I believe that it will open doors for other environmental issues to occur,” said Olivia Mehalick. “I think it will allow other oil companies opportunities to harm the environment even further.”


There are ways to help: we can take steps to stop climate change. We must inform ourselves, write letters, call the White House, sign petitions to make a point, and show our outrage. We cannot stand aside and allow the Willow Project to happen. By the time the effects have set in, the politicians officiating these climate projects and laws will be dead. We are the ones who will bear the consequences of their actions.


“It’s hard to care about the environment when it’s being destroyed like this,” said Kiara Locklear. “I’m not sure if we can really fight against climate change anymore.”