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The Willow Project: What you need to know

The Willow Project has been approved by our president.

A huge decision has been made in America; the Willow Project has been approved. This will affect the United States greatly. Many people ask, “What even is the Willow Project?” Well, the Willow Project is a huge oil drilling venture in Northern Alaska. This land, owned by the U.S. government, contains up to 600 million barrels of oil. 

You may be asking yourself, how does this affect us in Michigan? Well, this project will release 277 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This will speed up the process of global warming, and the impact could be detrimental to our whole earth; not just Alaska. Along with this, many students of Concord care about how the project will affect our environment. 

First, let’s look at the positives of the Willow project:

According to Power in Cooperation, the Willow project will be beneficial to Alaska’s economy and America’s energy security. It will help America become more independent and pull away from Russia. It will also create more jobs for people in the oil business. 

The oil mines are estimated to produce 180,000 barrels of oil per day; 40% of all current daily production in Alaska. This will be beneficial, and America will be one step closer to becoming independent. 

A group of native Alaskan people supports this project. According to CNN, “Willow presents an opportunity to continue that investment in the communities.”

Now let’s look at the negatives of the Willow project.

The Willow Project will speed up the process of global warming, along with disrupting Alaska’s natural environment. According to nrdc, it is estimated to release an additional 9.2 million metric tons of carbon pollution each year the drilling continues. This amount of carbon dioxide being released into our atmosphere will be detrimental to our planet; and is equivalent to about two million new gas-powered cars being added to our roads. 

Students and community members in Concord are concerned about the long-lasting effects on our earth. Senior Autumn Cornell explains her stance on the project: “I’m very disappointed in our president. One of his main points was that he was going to be more environmentally friendly and help with global warming, but he did just the opposite. I understand why he did it because we need to disconnect from Russia, but I feel like there were other ways. I believe it’s going to be devastating to our earth. Alaska is a very important natural resource, and now it’s just going to be corrupted with oil drills.” 

An Alaska-based senior attorney, Jeremy Lieb was interviewed by CNN. He is an authority on this subject and explains his stance. “This is a huge climate threat and inconsistent with this administration’s promises to take on the climate crisis.– In addition to concerns about the fast-warming Arctic, groups are also concerned the project could destroy habitat for native species and alter the migration patterns of animals including caribou.” 

While increasing our oil independence is important, shouldn’t protecting our planet be a more significant priority?

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