The Impact of the Willow Project

The Impact of the Willow Project

Hi there! I’m Stella Spragg. I am a junior and here at Stella’s Statement I will talk about

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Over the course of the past month, I have seen many social media posts and petitions against something called The Willow Project. The Willow Project has had much controversy over its goals and environmentalists are strongly advocating against it. The project is a gigantic oil drilling venture on Alaska’s North Slope in the National Petroleum Reserve, and the project has been in the works since about 1990. The area contains over 600 million barrels of oil, and they plan to produce over 150,000 barrels of oil a day when the project is enacted. 

The controversy surrounding the project is becoming widespread, and many digital petitions are being shared by people with large social media presence. Some people say that the Willow Project is taking us in the opposite direction with combating environmental concerns such as global warming and climate change, and will put many more greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere. Others say that the Biden-Harris administration is working to narrow down the negative effects it will have on natives in the area by eliminating two drilling sites and by avoiding areas with infrastructure such as roads and acreage of gravel, but that still does not address the environmental concerns. Regardless of the precautions said to be taken to protect Alaska’s native communities, the noise, greenhouse gas emissions, and traffic will disrupt the ecosystems in the area that Indigenous Alaskans have lived in for years. 

The project is said to increase the speed at which global warming and climate change are affecting the world, and it could only be 30 years until we start seeing life-changing and detrimental effects from the irreversible damage that has been caused to the Earth. I haven’t had much of a chance to dig deep into the specifics of the project, or what the Biden-Harris administration is doing to counteract the environmental effects, if at all. From what I have seen though, it doesn’t seem like the project is gaining positive traction and is instead causing an uproar of concerns throughout the United States. Especially against the President’s approval of the project since it is going against policy promises made by President Biden in the past. Lots seem to think he is going against his word when referring to his environmental protection values. 

While I don’t have a definite stance on the current issue, I am starting to grow concerned about where we are at with our planet, and what we collectively can do to take care of ourselves and the planet.