The Willow Project


Paul Morigi

Willow project protest

The Willow Project is a project to use Alaska’s Western Arctic for oil. The company, ConocoPhillips, is the largest crude oil producer in Alaska and will be the ones in charge of the project.

Oil drilling is done by digging a deep hole in the ground or under the sea in order to find natural substances such as oil or gas. After the oil is drilled we use it as gasoline to power cars, planes, ships, we also use it as kerosene for cooking, lighting and heating and also as heating oil to make a place warm or heat up water. According to an article by,  “According to ConocoPhillips, the project could create up to 2,500 jobs during construction and 300 long-term jobs, and generate billions of dollars in royalties and tax revenues for the federal, state and local governments.”

Even though there are these benefits to the willow project there are also permanent negative effects. According to The Washington Post “Willow going forward would create about 70 million metric tons of additional CO2 from the project in U.S. emissions – and another 60 million tons internationally” and it would destroy habitats for the native species living there.

Who has accepted it? The Biden administration has accepted the Willow Project since March 13 2023. This means that there will be more endangered animals and more pollution than there already is but we can still do something.                 

We interviewed a few student at AJMS about what they think about the Willow Project. 

One student said, “It’s sad because it is destroying the habitat of the animals there and it’s gonna affect climate change and it’s going to destroy the ecosystem.” 

Another student said, “I think it’s disgusting and unfair to the animals what if we were them and they were us we would cry on our knees and beg them not to kill us but they don’t know what we are saying because we are animals and they wouldn’t care, we are alive because of animals.”

We also interviewed Ms. Alamilla, science teacher at AJMS. This is what she had to say:

“I feel like ok, this is gonna sound bad coming from a science teacher especially one that studied environmental science, but I feel like there’s always an environmental issue that comes along and gets a lot of attention and hype but then it goes away and nobody ever does anything about it. So I feel like the Willow Project is just another one of those where people are concerned now but in a couple months from now nobody is gonna care and so that’s where, not that I feel like there’s anything to do about it, but I feel like the like “oh sign petitions” and do that, none of that is gonna fix like the real problems. Like they are trying to get more oil because that’s necessary, but also nobody is really changing their lifestyle to have less dependence on oil so unless you fix the root problem everything is kinda just a little bandage. So all the attention people are giving on the Willow Project and saying, “this is and we shouldn’t do it,” like yeah I agree, but what.s the solution and what are people actually gonna do because it is really easy to just say stuff. It’s more the actions that are more difficult, and like I said, nobody is really willing to change their lifestyle to have less dependence on oil for there to actually be some kind of change so it’s more like propaganda more than anything.”

After learning more about the Willow Project you might want to know how to help but don’t know how. You can help stop the Willow Project from happening by donating to Defenders of Wildlife.  This will help endangered animals out there that are also about to go extinct to continue living free in their natural habitat.