The Willow Project needs to be halted before the planet is too far gone



The beautiful Alaskan landscape that is at risk by following through with the Willow Project.

I have always wanted to travel to Alaska.

The breathtaking mountain ranges and the aurora borealis are absolutely beautiful. The animals roam freely, and to me, it is one of the most beguiling states in the country. I have been hypnotized by photos of the landscape for years, and all I yearn for is a chance to witness those images in real life.

However, everything is about to change. 

The Willow Project is an $8 billion operation where ConocoPhillips, an international oil producer with ongoing operations in 15 other countries, will construct an oil reserve the size of Indiana. The company had suggested many different sites for this project, but they ultimately chose Alaska as the best option. The Willow Project would be able to produce 180,000 barrels of crude oil per day, with three different drilling locations in Alaska’s North Slope. 

The Willow Project has been proposed by ConocoPhillips, and the fate of Alaska relies on whether or not this project is passed by President Biden.

The Willow Project will instigate irreversible damage on the planet.

If the Willow Project gets passed, it will be one of the largest oil reserves in the country. Thirty-four percent of carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels already come from oil. With the Willow Project, an estimated additional 278 million metric tons of carbon will be released into the atmosphere within 30 years of the oil reserves being built. Furthermore, in a study done by Environmental Impact Statement, the carbon emissions released by the Willow Project will cost an estimated $19.8 billion in climate damage—keep in mind that the revenue the government is looking to procure from this entire operation is a scanty $3.9 billion. 

This does not only affect the state of Alaska. Carbon emissions from the Willow Project will affect the entire planet, specifically the Arctic. Currently, there are only around 900 polar bears left; they are on the verge of leaving this earth forever. Implementing this massive oil reserve will accelerate the melting of the arctic immensely, thus endangering the few polar bears left to an even greater extent. 

The possible extinction of a species, due to the Willow Project, should be more than enough of a wake-up call for the government to terminate the operation.

Now, let’s cover the politics surrounding the Willow Project. The irony of this entire situation is the fact that President Biden promised to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030 during his 2020 election campaign. Now, he seems to be in support of what he stood against just three years ago. The U.S. government promises to plant new trees to replenish the lack of oxygen in the atmosphere—caused by both deforestation and greenhouse gasses—but that simply will not be enough.

Opposition to the Willow Project has gained traction across social media, especially on TikTok and Instagram. Information about what ConocoPhillips and the U.S. government are planning to accomplish has been spreading rapidly, and many are not in favor of this project being passed. A large number of petitions are being sent out, most of which have at least one million signatures. While it may seem like a fruitless effort, every signature counts.

The Willow Project will instigate irreversible damage on the planet. This week is when the final decision by President Biden will announce whether or not they will carry through with the operation. We must do everything in our power to save the planet, and letting this be approved will leave it to deteriorate instead.

Time is running out; stop the Willow Project.