Citizens, politicians continue to debate Willow Project


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The Willow Project is a massive oil drilling project in Alaska that could produce over 180,000 barrels of oil daily. This project would be located in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, according to It would be the most significant oil development in Alaska in 20 years, and the project would allow new roads, bridges, and pipelines to be built over 499 acres.  According to, the Willow Project was proposed in 2020 by ConocoPhillips and then approved by the Trump administration in 2020, this approved to build of 5 construction pads, then later when the Biden Administration took over the project he reduced it down to 3 construction pads. 

Alaskans believe this project would be beneficial because according to it would offer over 1,000 construction jobs and 400 permanent jobs. The oil project would also provide ¼ of the state’s annual budget. 

The Willow Project still brings massive environmental harm, according to,    “Burning Willow’s oil would also put into the atmosphere an estimated 239 million metric tons of carbon dioxide during the project’s 30-year lifetime.” Willow would also produce another 60 million tons of CO2 internationally. According to all of this CO2 going into the atmosphere would be the equivalent of adding 2 million gas ran cars onto the road and is more CO2 than 70 coal-fueled power plants could produce yearly.

Many people are concerned about the air quality, the health of the animals and their habitats, and the potential leaks and spills that Willow could produce. It’s stated by that the polluted air that Willow projects can cause severe respiratory, cardiovascular, and kidney problems due to the pollution.

 Many on social media have come forward and critiqued President Biden and his decision because back in 2020 when elected one of his main points was to work on environmental health.

 According to’s speech from July 20, 2022, Biden states, “As President, I have a responsibility to act with urgency and resolve when our nation faces clear and present danger.  And that’s what climate change is about. It is literally, not figuratively, a clear and present danger. The health of our citizens and our communities is literally at stake.”

Although Biden reduced the construction pads from 5 to 3, advocates are still upset at the negative impact even with this reduction and started speaking publicly about their concerns in the media. There was a petition on that got 4,754,909 out of the 6 million signed goals and then on TikTok, the #stopwillow reached 366 million views and the #stopwillowproject got 200.4 million views.

Because of the environmental issues and concerns, Earthjustice filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration. 

“The Biden administration had the authority to stop Willow — yet chose not to.

The lawsuit also takes the administration to task for neglecting to consider the additional climate pollution of future development dependent upon the Willow project, thus failing to assess Willow’s full climate impact….In addition, the lawsuit challenges the administration’s failure to properly consider the project’s impacts on polar bears, ringed seals, and bearded seals, as required by the Endangered Species Act.”

As of April Federal Judge Sharon Gleason acted in favor of ConocoPhillips and allowed the company to go ahead with the project. 

With this decision from the federal district court, we are able to immediately begin construction activities.” 

A spokesman for ConocoPhillips stated, “We appreciate the support from the intervening parties and others who recognize that Willow will provide meaningful opportunities for Alaska Native communities and the State of Alaska, and domestic energy for America.”

Biological Diversity is still standing up against Willow and is trying to sue Willow and stop it by law, Kristen Monsell, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity has spoken up and said, “It’s heartbreaking that ConocoPhillips has been allowed to break ground on Willow before the court has fully assessed whether the project is lawful. But this case isn’t over, and we’ll keep fighting to protect struggling Arctic wildlife and our climate from this disastrous project. We’re hopeful we’ll get the Willow project’s approval thrown out once again.”