Willow Project – a huge step back for our energy future

Sustainability is a priority. It is a priority for asset management, energy infrastructure, the planet, and us as humanity. Humankind fights for it and tries to remedy past mistakes along with building a vivid future. According to a Eurostat report, the share of renewable energy was almost 22% in 2021. They also aim to reach 32% of renewable energy consumption by the 2030s. But not everyone works for the common good.

The Willow Project is a project of American oil investigative corporation ConocoPhillips approved by Biden’s administration 3 days ago. It aims to build five drill pads and Alaska’s whole oil extraction ecosystem. It all started in 2016 when ConocoPhillips discovered oil in the Willow region of Alaska. Oil drilling is already a synonym for climate change, but why the willow project is one of particular evil?

Photo source: CNN

First, the Willow project’ foundation is a lie and hypocrisy. The project’s approval directly violates Biden’s presidential campaign and promise to halt new oil drills from development on federal land. Secondly, ConocoPhillips is a legal debtor of federal lands in Alaska, and forbidding it from oil drilling would have created many problems for Biden’s administration as of contract violation. According to the official speakers, the project will produce 9.2 million tons of carbon dioxide. The same as +2 million cars on the roads. But other estimate drills to produce 260 million tons of carbon dioxide, equal to 66 American coal plants.

Saying the project is hazardous and unsustainable is pretty apparent. Despite promises to create vacancies, impressive investments, and cutting import dependence, the drawbacks still outweigh. Indegioneous people of Alaska are under the threat of wiping out due to health dangers. More oil drilling will make Arctics heat even faster, besides, it is already being heated the fastest in the world. What about the future of the planet and future generations? The oil extracted will be enough for several decades at a maximum. Still, drilling consequences will haunt our successors for their whole lives.

No surprise that the US is rather aggressive whatever the oil is. Several environmental groups have already sued the American government and ConocoPhillips for violating climate protection instructions, hoping to postpone the project till April, when it will be inconvenient to start construction. What we can do is fight at the informational frontier, educating more and more people. Spreading information is spreading awareness and demonstrating opposition that, hopefully, will be noticeable and fruitful.

Iryna Nykoriak

Published 17.03.2023


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