May 21, 2024

Willow Oil Project: What Is The Controversy?

ConocoPhillips “Willow Project” was formed to create jobs, boost domestic energy production and lessen the country’s reliance on foreign oil. The $360 million project takes place on the plain of the North slope of Arctic, Alaska controlled by the oil company ConocoPhillips and is expected to produce 180,000 barrels of oil per day, and between $8 and $17 billion in revenue. However little did they know it would be one the most controversial climate protests.

The Viral Protests

Much was done to try and stop the Willow project because of the damages it would cause, producing 287 million metric tons of CO2 over the next 30 years – equivalent to adding 2 million gas – powered cars to the roads, cause many ecosystems to die off, and animals being wiped out. Climate activists like “Defenders of Wildlife” and other conservation groups, represented by “Earthjustice” are doing anything in their power to stop the Project with over 1 million letters written to the white house, nonstop protests , and over 6 million signatures against the project, becoming one of the top signed petitions online. However, they are not the only ones taking action. The internet has come together to fight against the project posting on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and more with the hashtags #StopthewillowProject and #Stopwillow to raise awareness for the Arctic. However, there voice was not heard, the Project was approved on March 13th by the Biden administration.

Bidens Statements

With many people mad about the Project being approved, Biden’s past remarks were brought up. On July 20, 2022 Biden stated “As President, I’ll use my executive powers to combat climate — the climate crisis in the absence of congressional actions, notwithstanding their incredible action.” Another remark that was made correlated to the drillings in Alaska when a woman had brought up the project at a town hall meeting in Hudson, New Hampshire. Bidens response to the question was  “No more drilling on federal lands, period, period, period.” It was, he added, “a disaster” to drill for oil in the Arctic—“a big disaster, in my view.” With Bidens words not lining up with his actions protestors are enraged. However, the project had already been signed before by the Trump administration for 3 drilling sites instead of 5. The project was soon thrown out for citing fault in the way the federal government had assessed the environmental impact of the project, but it is back and in action with climate goals at risk putting energy before the earth and the impact the project could have.

To find out more about the project go to https://www.protectthearctic.org/

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/14/politics/willow-project-oil-alaska-explained-climate/index.html

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2023/03/15/biden-approved-willow-project-explained/11478463002/