The Willow Project


Courtesy of The Gaurdian

Katelynn Karsten, Staff Writer

The Willow Project, proposed by ConocoPhillips, is a project that will take place in 2027 and will damage our Earth and generations to come. The project plans to sell half of the land in Alaska for oil drilling, forcing animals to leave their home and move somewhere else. This project will put thousands of toxic fumes into our air, making the fresh air we breathe toxic, which can cause irritation to the skin, cause long-term effects to your body, and can make breathing more difficult.

The Willow Project was approved on March 13, 2023, by President Joe Biden. In Alaska, the North Slope, where the oil drilling will take place, is owned by the federal government. This means that there is nothing except for the animals that live in that area. The North Slope is about 94,797 square miles, which is about the size of the United Kingdom. The land being used is even bigger than the entire land of Ireland. The North Slope can hold up to 600 million barrels of oil but will take years to finally reach the market since the project has yet to be constructed.

ConocoPhillips, the company that first thought of the Willow Project, is a Houston-based energy company that has been drilling oil in Alaska for years. ConocoPhillips is the largest oil company in Alaska, with approximately 1.6 million net undeveloped acres at year-end 2021. ConocoPhillips was first founded on August 30, 2002, meaning it’s been around for over 20 years.

Now that this project has been approved, construction can start at any time. Some say that the Willow Project will be beneficial to the world, saying that it will create new jobs, boost domestic energy production, and lessen the country’s reliance on foreign oil. On the other hand, millions of people are annoyed, saying this is a horrible idea and will have a huge impact on climate change and make animals living in Alaska go extinct, such as polar bears, different types of birds, and caribous. A petition was made on with over 5 million signatures. On Tiktok, many users have made videos telling people to sign this petition and what the project is. Many young teens are now learning about this, and also signing this petition to try to stop this from happening. This project will release 9.2 million metric tons of planet-warming carbon pollution each year, which is equivalent to adding 2 million gas-powered cars to roads.

People all around the world tried to stop this and protest against this project, but it will start any day now, whenever they’re ready. This project will work against our earth, us, and the animals living on it too. More and more gas is put into the year, and scientists think that in 50 years, Earth will have a warmer atmosphere, higher sea levels, and a warmer ocean. The best way to make sure our earth stays as healthy as it can is to recycle plastic, conserve water, and refrain from using plastic bottles, plastic straws, and lids.