The Willow Project

Kristin Pyle, Reporter

On March 13th of this year an oil drilling project in Alaska called Willow was approved by the Biden administration. The project will be decades long and take place on Alaska’s North Slope in the National Petroleum Reserve. Considering we are currently in a climate crisis; many people are infuriated with the decision to pursue the project. Many activists have been bringing attention to the situation through social media. This has accumulated over 2.8 million signatures on a petition to halt Willow. The project will release 9.2 million metric tons of carbon pollution a year over 30 years. The area the project would be constructed is also environmentally sensitive and is predicted to impact wildlife habitats and cause air and water pollution in the surrounding areas. However, many people do support the project. Alaska’s lawmakers believe it will boost domestic energy production, create job opportunities, and lessen the United States reliance on foreign oil. Some Native Alaskan groups in the area see it as a necessary new source of income for funding healthcare and education. While those are valid reasons to support the project, a recent scientific study showed that the Arctic is warming four times faster than anywhere else in the world, and projects like Willow will only increase that number. It is important to remember that we can only go so far, because we are approaching a point of no return with the climate.