By: Georgia Spaulding

On Monday, March 14, the Biden Administration approved ConocoPhillips’ major oil project that will take place in Alaska. This project could produce up to 180,000 barrels of oil a day, and is currently the largest proposed oil project on US public land. There will be three drilling sites, which will include up to 199 total wells. President Biden has set many restrictions on this project to preserve animal habitats and land in Alaska. Willow is a way for the U.S to have domestic oil drilling rather than receiving imports, but if the oil is used, 263 million tons of greenhouse gasses would be produced throughout the project’s 30-year life. 

There has been a very mixed response to this project. The major supporters for Willow, which include unanimous, bipartisan support in Alaska, says that the project is “balanced” and that communities would benefit from the taxes generated by Willow to invest in infrastructure and provide public services. They also argue that it will lower gas prices substantially. Those who oppose this project believe that it is a huge blow to the environment and would only accelerate global warming. Environmentalists believe that President Biden approving this project goes against his promise to end new oil and gas drilling on federal lands. Some Alaskan residents also have worries about the impacts on wildlife, particularly caribou and how this will affect their lives. 

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