Vice President Joe Biden of the United States is in a difficult position regarding a proposed oil pipeline in Alaska.
The Willow Project in Alaska’s North Slope, rumored to be petroleum-rich, is now being debated by the Biden administration.
Those favoring the proposal have called it an “economic lifeline,” and a decision is expected this month. They argue that it would be counterproductive to President Biden’s climate aims and harmful to the environment.
What Is The Willow Project 2023?
The Willow Project is an initiative to extract petroleum from Alaska’s North Slope.
The project has the potential to generate up to 180,000 barrels of oil per day, which is equivalent to roughly 1.5% of the country’s current oil output.
If approved, the project would be among the largest and most important construction endeavors in the country’s history.
Advocates for the project have said it might be an “economic lifeline” for rural Native American communities.
How Massive Would This Undertaking Be?
The project’s developers, ConocoPhillips Alaska, have identified five potential drilling sites. The United States Bureau of Land Management had previously proposed three locations. But, the US Department of the Interior, responsible for the bureau, has “serious concerns” about both proposals.
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What About It Causes Debate?
Indications are that over its 30-year lifespan, the Willow Project would release the carbon dioxide equivalent of more than 278 million tonnes (306 million short tonnes). This is equivalent to the pollution caused by two million cars driven during the same period.
The trans-Alaska pipeline transports an average of 499,700 barrels of oil each day, down significantly from its peak of 2.1 million barrels in the late 1980s.
Why Does A Petition Want The Project To Stop?
A petition started by Sienna Floor with the opposition has gained over 26,000 signatures on Change.org.
The petition claims the project might generate 287 million metric tonnes of hazardous chemicals throughout its 30-year lifespan. An identical situation occurred when a derailed train carrying toxic goods created widespread panic in Ohio.
@discduotinks said about The Willow Project on Twitter:
the willow project is on the verge of approval, which will lead to drilling in the artic and millions of tons of carbon dioxide being released. the damage done to the environment will be severe and IRREVERSIBLE. [1/2]
— discduo thinks 🍉¹⁸⁶ (@discduothinks) March 2, 2023
Several people and businesses, including Patagonia, have spoken out against pollution of our air and water in national protests and on the internet.
Patagonia came forward with a statement and said:
“This massive oil extraction operation threatens the health of caribou, moose, birds, and the habitats of other wildlife. Indigenous families living near the project site do not support it, citing grave concerns over air and water pollution and the degradation of their traditional subsistence hunting and fishing grounds.”
Greenpeace USA has also made a statement and criticized the project on Presidents Day, demanding Biden to “fulfil his climate promises and stop the Willow Project.”
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