The “Carbon Bomb”

The Carbon Bomb

Aleena Pawa, Staff Writer

On Monday, March 13th, the Biden administration had given approval for an oil drilling project in Alaska, the Willow Project. This is the most controversial and largest project in U.S. history. This project would open the nation’s largest expanse of untouched land to energy production. The National Petroleum Reserve, which is about 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle is where the project will be located. 

Initially, the Interior Department said that it could produce almost 600 million barrels of crude oil between the following 30 years. When the department stated that they believe that the project might produce close to a quarter of a billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, things got messy. This altered the public’s perspective on the project and brought upon a lot of chaos. A lot of hate and refusal came from the public because of the immense effect this will have on climate and the environment. 

A great number of environmentalists had been voicing their opinions on this, expressing the deleteriousness of the project as well as the things that could arise from it. There was also opposition from the Native American community who lives the closest to the site of the project. It is believed that the approval of the Willow project is an environmental injustice. President Biden is seemingly receiving loads of hate because of his decision to accept this. 

With concerns about the well being of our Earth and the animals that call it their home, there was a petition established. People on all forms of social media were vigorously attempting to preach it to others who will sign it. It was spread mainly through a viral tik tok campaign to stop the project, but didn’t work. The project was going to disrupt animal migration patterns and possibly kill them. Although the reduced scope of the project has been said to lower its impact on habitats for species like polar bears and yellow-billed loons, people are still upset over it. The project has been called a “carbon bomb” because it’s emissions would be almost equivalent to appending 2 million gas powered cars to roads each year. 

The crucial risk it is putting wildlife in is a big deal breaker for a lot of people. Disregarding all the indigenous and environmental groups’ oppositions, they still accepted the project due to pressure from the project’s developer and senators from across the party line who promised jobs was too agonizing. Biden is now seen to be untrustworthy as he is going back on his promise to slow down oil and gas investments. This is the exact opposite and will be locking oil into the U.S. economy for decades to come. Environmental groups have a plan to begin legal action.