Opinion: Give Nature A Voice


Media by Emma Tyulyayev

President Biden as a presidential candidate, preached climate health, but his presidency hasn’t quite reflected that. The Willow Project has completely contradicted Biden’s specific climate plan, and will release 287 million tons of carbon emissions.

287 million tons of carbon emissions were signed into law on Monday. 

The Biden Administration signed the Willow Project, allowing for the drilling of 250 oil wells in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, producing 600 million barrels of oil, dubbed the name “carbon bomb.”

As a presidential candidate in 2020, Biden pledged, “No more drilling on federal lands, period, period, period,” in response to a question about oil drilling. This year, he blatantly contradicted his statement by signing the Willow Project into law. 

Biden’s climate plan states that, “As president, Biden will lead the world to address the climate emergency and lead through the power of example.” Really Mr. President? Your solution to reduce climate change is to release more fossil fuels? Fossil fuels degrade the ozone, harming the temperature of Earth.

While debating to pass this law, Congress had to weigh the pros and cons. The project is expected to produce between $8 and $17 billion in revenue, while providing an estimated 1,650 new jobs. Going into effect after the start of the Willow Project, by the Board of Interior, is a ban on drilling anywhere on the National Petroleum Reserve, excluding the Willow Project of course.

The cons, however, include serious issues for arctic wildlife and Native American communities who occupy the area. The Willow Project contradicts all of the climate change initiatives taken over the past few years, pushing America back to stage one. 

It seems to me as if America has taken one step forward and 15 back when it comes to caring about the environment. 

The amount of fossil fuels released due to this project is said to be the equivalent to adding two million gas powered cars to the roadways each year over the next decade.

The area west of Alpine, Alaska, that is destined for oil drilling is home to polar bears, birds, caribou and other native species. The consequences of oil drilling for wildlife have been neglected, especially considering polar bears are already endangered. Habitats are in danger of being destroyed. That’s not very environmentally conscious of you, Mr. President, is it?

The indigenous tribes of the City of Nuiqsut and the Native Village of Nuiqsit have expressed their concerns about the project, relating to their residents’ health and supply to important resources. The law was passed without the consent of the tribes, ignoring their concerns.

The pros help with the economy, but what about the environment? There will be no economy without an environment. 

Biden has promised to protect our climate and listen to our voices, but a petition from Change.org that has over 4 million signatures has been ignored. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do to change this predicament, besides using our voices.

Petitions and public opinion spread information on the injustices that happen within our government, and may prevent something like the Willow Project from happening again, but only if those injustices are called out. Those who are on the government level may ignore them, but educated citizens can make informed decisions about representatives and influence politicians. 

The Willow Project is harmful to the environment, so why sit here and do nothing, when we can call out wrongdoings and speak the truth. Nature doesn’t have a voice, so it’s crucial that we use ours.