The Willow Project


Photo Courtesy of Offshore Technology

Kenzie Flanagan and Niko Langlois

I am sure everyone by now has heard of the Willow Project, the proposal recently approved by the president of the US, Joe Biden. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, the company ConocoPhillips proposed a $6 billion project to build a giant oil plant in the Nation Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. “Allegedly, by cultivating and undertaking the oil project, the U.S. Government can produce up to 180,000 barrels of oil a day, 1.5% of the total U.S. oil production.” Many believe this project can benefit us and create more jobs for those in need, but not everyone agrees.

“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.” How will the project affect the climate and wildlife lives in Alaska? These changes could be detrimental to the animals who have lived there for millions of years. “By the administration’s own estimates, the project would generate enough oil to release 9.2 million metric tons of planet-warming carbon pollution a year – equivalent to adding 2 million gas-powered cars to the roads.” 

Many people are fighting for this project because the Nation Petroleum Reserve was created for an emergency oil supply many years ago so why not use it? What people didn’t think about back when this reserve was created was how it would affect climate change and the environment around it. Global warming wasn’t as bad as it is now back when the reserve was created so what could going through with this project do to global warming? 

In conclusion, there are pros and cons to the Willow Project. Pros are more jobs created, and more oil supply. The cons are the harm that will come to the environment in Alaska and the hurt that will be caused to the wildlife living there. Though Biden already approved this project many people will still continue to protest against the movement. What are your thoughts on this?