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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kutztown chapter.

This month, the Biden administration approved the Willow Project. 

The project has caused massive discourse between environmental enthusiasts and other American citizens. Located in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, the Willow Project is an oil-drilling experiment that aims to reach 600 million barrels of oil, according to CNN. The company in charge of the Willow Project, ConocoPhillips, has been involved with smaller oil drilling projects in Alaska for many years; however, Willow would be the largest oil drilling operation by ConocoPhillips. 

The Willow Project was actually approved by the Trump administration in 2020, according to CNN. Government representatives informed CNN that the Biden administration collectively felt that they would legally be unable to deny or even reduce the project’s demands without facing fines and lawsuits. 

According to CNN, “​​the project would generate enough oil to release 9.2 million metric tons of planet-warming carbon pollution a year – equivalent to adding 2 million gas-powered cars to the roads.” This is an urgent issue regarding the current climate crisis despite ConocoPhillips representatives claiming that they will obtain fossil fuel in a clean manner. Concerns of global warming (especially in the Arctic region), animal and plant endangerment and extinction, increased migration, and more have been expressed. 

There are many ways that we as individuals can combat these environmental stressors. Small things, such as switching from plastic to reusable, decreasing water use, walking or riding a bike, and other everyday changes can drastically decrease your carbon footprint. On a larger scale, signing petitions, getting involved with local events and organizations that aim to save the planet, and activism are excellent ways to push back against this drastic change. It’s time to start before it’s too late to take action.

Sarah Mengel

Kutztown '23

Senior English major with a minor coffee addiction :)