The Willow Project


An oil pipeline stretches across the landscape outside Prudhoe Bay in North Slope borough, Alaska. Photograph: Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Myrna Hamilton, Co-Editor-in-Chief

What is the Willow project? The Willow Project is an oil project based in Alaska that will likely produce a total of 600 million barrels in the future. President Joe Biden recently approved the project, but according to CNN, construction “can only be done during the winter season because it needs ice roads to build the rest of the oil project’s infrastructure – including hundreds of miles of roads and pipelines and a processing facility.”

People need oil to heat their homes, run their cars, and produce electricity. Further, opening a new oil port will drop oil prices for cash-strapped Americans. But why are we so worried about money when our world will slowly die from reliance on so much oil? According to the World Wildlife Fund, “oil and gas exploration and development cause disruption of migratory pathways, degradation of important animal habitats, and oil spills—which can be devastating to the animals and humans who depend on these ecosystems.”

While the Biden Administration is keen on defending our earth and Alaska specifically–Biden vowing during his campaign to stop all new drilling and other potentially polluting projects–he still approved Willow. Many are upset and confused about this. The TikTok platform has really opened up teens’ eyes about this issue. TikTok started a petition to overturn Biden’s decision, but the 2.8 million signatures it drew still weren’t enough.

It is true that increasing oil production can positively affect the U.S. and world economies, but killing wildlife and ruining homes is not worth it. A recent post on TikTok reads: “Money is useless with no Earth,” and I agree.