President Biden has approved the Willow Project: What this means


The Willow Project is an oil-drilling venture taking place in Alaska. This project will result in over 600 barrels of crude oil being produced over the next 30 years, burning 280 million metric tons of carbon emissions, and releasing 9.2 million metric tons of carbon pollution annually. 

President Joe Biden is expected to announce restrictions on the project to make an effort to shorten the severe environmental damage that the project will cause, including limiting future oil leases in the region, which includes the entire United States Arctic Ocean, protecting more than 13 million acres of land in the region from future oil drilling, and protections that extend to habitats supporting animals native to the region. 

However, this will not do much in the face of the extreme environmental chaos this project will unleash. Oil drilling is already a big cause of environmental decay, contributing to the degradation of important animal habitats, pollution, and the disruption of migratory pathways. Now we’re making it worse. 

The Willow Project is expected to make a grave impact on local communities and ecosystems, making regions uninhabitable for many native people and creatures.

Why it was approved by Biden, despite the disastrous impacts Willow will have

Now, we understand the basics on the project and the immense environmental threat it poses, but there is a key component as to why it was even approved: What are the benefits of the Willow Project?

According to “The benefits that have cited by supporters of the project are mainly economic. They say that it will help local communities by creating jobs, both temporary and permanent. They add that the project will generate income for both the state and federal governments through increased revenue from oil, gas royalties, and taxes. Proponents have also argued that the project will help reduce the U.S.’ dependence on foreign oil.” 

Many of the benefits, however, are very easily reversible, unlike the damage this project will do to the planet. 

Actions being taken against the Willow Project

Currently, environmental activists are enraged with Biden’s recent approval of the project, and even some environmental advocacy groups are suing the Biden administration for presenting such an environmental catastrophe. 

According to, “…environmental and Indigenous groups are suing the federal government, arguing the project would breach the country’s environmental commitments.”

“We will not give up protecting the Arctic today, tomorrow, or ever,” said a spokesperson for Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic, one of the groups launching an appeal.” 

With the current legal threats to the Willow Project, drilling could be delayed for at least a year, and the oil produced might take years to reach the market. This would mean that for the next few years, the oil drilling that’s causing environmental damage won’t even present any of the said benefits for a while. 

What you can do to help

While there isn’t much we can do directly, you can contribute to a bigger cause in stopping the Willow Project. There are many petitions, especially one made by The World’s Platform for Change · , which has a good amount of four million signatures, urging President Biden to stop the Willow Project. 

When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.

— Cree Indian Prophecy