Biden Administration approves ConocoPhillips Alaska drilling project


Graphic by Hannah Metzger

Big events happening in the Willow Project

For the many people who do not know about the Willow Project, it started with ConocoPhillips. ConocoPhillips is Alaska’s largest crude oil producer, and the largest owner of exploration leases. ConocoPhillips is acquiring Alaska land, and they have been trying to get the project approved since 2018. The project will drill massive holes into Alaska and create new oil fields on the Alaskan North Slope. The amount to do this, according to the Open Access Government, is over $8 billion for oil and gas drilling. 

The Willow Project would give the United States thousands of well-paying jobs and produce 600 million barrels of oil. The cons in this situation are very high. According to the Washington Post, it would release over 289 million tons of carbon emissions plus other greenhouse gasses that are bad for the environment for the next 30 years. 

The Biden administration just approved this project on March 13. 

 The Willow Project first started with ConocoPhillips, Alaska’s largest oil producer, purchasing the Alaska oil leases. ConocoPhillips named it the “Willow Project” about a quarter of a century ago in 1999. Nothing really happened until mid-2010 when investigating the drilling and relieved a massive oil play under the solid frozen ground. The company then began the allowance process to develop Willow in 2018. But, they won’t start the project right now; it’s officially going to start in 2027.

“I think the Willow Project has a bad impact because they are releasing gasses into the air and could possibly affect us later on,” Madison Knopp, a sixth grader, said. The greenhouse gases going into the air will continue to cause atmospheric problems.