Reader's View: Say no to Willow project in Alaska

There is currently a proposed oil project, called the Willow Development Project, that threatens massive extraction in Alaska.

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In a column posted Oct. 15 at (“ Weather memories are a poor way to gauge climate change ”), meteorologist John Wheeler wrote that climate change is much more noticeable in Alaska because of delayed sea-ice formations and increases in wildfires. Incredibly, there is currently a proposed oil project, called the Willow Development Project, that threatens massive extraction in Alaska. I am doing an internship to raise awareness about the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, or NPRA, in the western Arctic where this project has been proposed.

Climate experts have said that in order to curb the worst climate impacts, we must reduce our carbon emissions to at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030. The Willow Project would cause a huge delay in our progress toward this goal. It is projected to produce more than 629 million barrels of oil over the next 30 years. Burning this oil would release more than 284 million metric tons of carbon emissions, which would be detrimental to our atmosphere and would worsen the conditions in Alaska and the entire world.

The NPRA houses many animal species, such as caribou, geese, loons, salmon, polar bears, and wolves. Additionally, 13 Alaskan Native communities rely on subsistence resources. If the Willow project is enacted, many ecosystems and communities would suffer from environmental degradation.

We must urgently call on President Joe Biden to deliver on his climate promises and say no to approving the Willow project. Please take action and visit to voice your concerns today.

Emma Hester



The writer is a student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

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