On March 13, President Biden’s administration approved the proposed Willow Project which will enforce drilling for oil in Alaska in the next few years. The project will turn land in northern areas of the state into facilities that would pump over 180,000 barrels of oil per day for the next 30 years.
The sudden approval of this project has shocked many, considering the fact that Biden had previously said, during his presidential campaign in 2020, that he would not promote drilling for more oil, effectively banning mass-drilling on federal lands.
While many Republican representatives see the stamp of approval as a victory and an opportunity to create jobs and revenue, climate activists see his disregard for his own climate goals as an act of betrayal.
While the land does hold a substantial amount of oil, the United States should not be seriously considering this mass-drilling because it will, both directly and indirectly, produce millions of tons of carbon pollution, making it a detriment to the planet.
In addition to the common carbon pollutants that will be released into the environment, harming the atmosphere and living organisms in the area, environmentalists have also discovered that drilling in this area will also create and release black carbon.
Studies find that black carbon (PM2.5) also have harmful effects on people and their health. PM2.5 is actually responsible for almost 4 million deaths globally due to illnesses that result from it, like heart and lung diseases, cancers and respiratory infections.
This is especially worrying considering the current state of the climate crisis. The last eight years have been the warmest years recorded—the greenhouse gases emitted from this project will only add to the rapid warming of the planet.
Though Biden has checked a final box which will start the building for the project, the approved facilities cannot be used to begin pumping oil until further legislation is passed.
Because the actually oil pumping will be delayed until infrastructure and legislation is passed, millions of activists have signed petitions against the project, some climate organizations even attempting to fight the project in court or by filing complaints against the Biden administration.
The time is now, opposing citizens.
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