Opinion: The Willow Project clarifies U.S. position on climate change

WSPNs Mischa Lee and Jessi Dretler discuss the negative environmental impacts of the Willow Project.

Credit: Mischa Lee

WSPN’s Mischa Lee and Jessi Dretler discuss the negative environmental impacts of the Willow Project.

Mischa Lee and Jessi Dretler

Alaska is a picturesque location for many people to visit, but because of global warming, its glaciers are slowly but surely melting. With the Willow Project being approved, Alaska is anticipated to undergo drastic changes for the worse.

The Willow Project will be located in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska’s North Slope. The United States Federal Government owns this land and plans to build an oil drilling site that will hold 600 million barrels of oil. Biden’s administration recently approved of the Willow Project, sparking controversy across the country.

When we heard about this plan, we were furious. Doing something this detrimental to the environment would increase the amount of climate pollution and fossil fuels that are already abundant in our environment. The #StopWillow slogan has been promoted on every social media platform like Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

Although a petition to stop the Willow Project was started a few years ago, it just recently gained popularity, receiving almost five million signatures. Even with all the efforts to halt the project, it seems as though the Biden administration has ignored the public, approving the project instead of trying to reverse it.

ConocoPhillips, the company spearheading the project, declared that Willow would help fix energy costs and inflation. Due to the promise of affordable energy, all members of Alaska’s congressional delegation supported the project. Additionally, people support the Willow Project because of its economic promises. Willow is expected to create thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars in new revenues.

The Willow Project will result in a negative impact on our environment, that’s a no-brainer. Citizens living around the area of the oil drilling site strongly oppose the project. The massive amounts of oil that will be released into the environment will result in negative impacts on peoples’ health, not to mention this project can drastically increase the number of people with cancer and other respiratory illnesses.

During Biden’s campaign, he promised no more drilling would take place when he was in office, yet he broke that pledge by approving the Willow Project. With this project, the Biden administration lied to Americans.

Climate change is a very real and terrifying issue in our world today, and although we try to steer clear of pollutants, we always fall back into using the same, harmful materials.

When we heard about the Willow Project, we were heartbroken over the fact that our own president was willing to destroy such a beautiful landscape. Even though the economic benefits may seem enticing to some, the Willow Project is going to forever disrupt the habitats of thousands of native animals and Alaska’s landscape. This is the last thing our country needs during today’s climate crisis.