Over the past few days, Joe Biden’s administration approved the massively controversial Willow Project in Alaska, initiating a global uprising of online activism against the project.
A reported total of one million protest letters were sent to the White House, with another 3 million Change.org petitions against the enormous oil drilling project on Alaska’s north Slope.
If you have not heard already, ConocoPhillips’ Willow Project is a decade-spanning oil drilling project in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, owned by the federal government.
The project is reported to hold up to 600 barrels of oil, which oil would take years to reach the market due to construction delays. It was initially approved by the Trump administration in 2020, with the Biden administration reducing the initial five drill pads to three.
Two government sources reported that Joe Biden’s administration felt its hands were tied with The Willow Project due to Conoco already having valid leases in the area. It was determined that the project could not have been legally rejected or drastically reduced due to potentially steep fines as a result of legal action from ConocoPhillips’ part.
Despite the project receiving the green light, multiple legal challenges, international controversy and backlash from activists and organisations have made it unclear when the project will go forward, with both parties racing against the clock.
State lawmakers have argued that the Willow project will create jobs, boost domestic energy production and decrease the country’s reliance on oil from beyond their shores whilst those opposing such as Alaska natives, city officials and others remain deeply concerned about the project’s negative effects on the environment.
What do you make of this?