Biden Administration Approves Willow Project


Written by Meda Bliudziute, News Editor

The Willow project, which has taken online activism by storm, was just approved on March 13, 2023 by the Biden Administration. This was a surprise to many since Biden understands the existential threat that climate change poses, but yet still chose to approve a project that derails his own climate goals.

The Willow project is an oil drilling operation proposed by ConocoPhillips COP.N to drill 600 million barrels of oil into Alaska over the course of 30 years–that’s up to 180,000 barrels of oil per day. The project was approved by the Trump administration in 2020, and will be located inside the National Petroleum Reserve. The project is supposed to “facilitate the energy transition and enhance energy security in Alaska, all while creating good union jobs and providing benefits to Alaska Native communities,” as said by Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips chairman and chief executive officer. But will it really? What will be the negative effects?

Well, the project will release about 260 million metric tons of carbon emission into the atmosphere in the next 30 years, causing irreversible damage to Arctic wildlife and the environment. Even worse, the National Petroleum Reserve, where the project will be located, is home to polar bears which are listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

Apparently, the one million letters sent to the White House and a petition with millions of signatures in protest of the Willow project weren’t enough to stop the project, leaving young generations to question their future environment as the project follows through.