Editorial: Say NO To The Willow Project


Molly O'Flynn, Staff Writer

Do you want to watch our world fall apart or do you want to help save it?

For decades, people have ignored global warming and all of the warnings about what it could do to our planet. As global warming is progressively increasing, we are running out of time to stop or even slow it down. However, new problems are beginning to occur in society today that are putting our planet at an even larger risk. The Willow Project is the largest proposed oil drilling project on United States land right now. This project can permanently change our lives, as well as the lives of wildlife.

The Willow Project came about in January 2017 by ConocoPhillips, a Houston-based energy company who had been extracting oil from Alaska for years. Donald Trump’s Administration originally approved the project in 2020 after it was proposed by ConocoPhillips. The original project was approved to construct five drilling pads; however, Biden reduced the drilling pad number down to three (Friedman). With those pads, the company is able to drill about 90% of the oil from Alaska. Biden’s Administration had given Willow the green light on March 13, 2023, allowing construction to begin. The project had been legally challenged by the Alaska District Court Judge Sharon Gleason, who was attempting to block the project from moving any further. Gleason is arguing that its “environmental impact analysis was flawed” (Nilson). Even if these potential lawsuits win the court’s vote, it will only delay the project for about a year. 

Approving this project only takes us further from the goal of  reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner energy sources (Narvekar). Scientists are concerned for the environment and arctic ecosystem. Considering that climate change is already harming the Arctic, Willow will be detrimental and irreparable. ConocoPhillips’ plan includes placing a plant to process crude oil next to local communities which includes various habitats for the Arctic wildlife (Sentner). Regardless of how many millions of people around the world, including me, feel about the project receiving approval, the Biden Administration continues to support ConocoPhillips ruining the Earth, our home.

President Biden has the control to either authorize or put the project to an end. Although it seems that it is too late to halt the project, we can send messages to the Biden Administration through the Protect Our Winters message template. You can join over the five million people who have already signed the Say No To Willow Project petition.  If we do not put a stop to this project, our planet and people around the world are going to suffer immensely. 



* image from rawpixel.com (Public Domain)


Friedman, Lisa. “Left With Few Options, Biden Freely Approves Alaska Drilling Project.” New York Times, 14 Mar. 2023, p. A11(L). The New York Times, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A741091039/SPJ.SP01?u=nysl_li_farmshs&sid=bookmark-SPJ.SP01&xid=6bac1e9a. Accessed 19 Apr. 2023.

Sentner, Rebecca“Massive Oil Project Poses Risks to People, Birds, and Other Wildlife.” Audubon Alaska, https://ak.audubon.org/press-release/massive-oil-project-poses-risks-people-birds-and-other-wildlife

Narvekar, Tanvi. “Why the Willow Project Will Be Harmful to the Environment.” John Hopkins News-Letter, www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2023/03/why-the-willow-project-will-be-harmful-to-the-environment.

Nilsen, Ella. “The Willow Project Has Been Approved. Here’s What to Know about the Controversial Oil-drilling Venture.” CNN, www.cnn.com/2023/03/14/politics/willow-project-oil-alaska-explained-climate/index.html.