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Biden trades the planet for oil by approving Willow Project

OUT+OF+THIS+WORLD+OIL.+ConocoPhillips%E2%80%99+long-pursued+The+Willow+Project%2C+was+approved+by+the+Biden+administration+today.+This+project+aims+to+drill+for+a+projected+180%2C000+barrels+of+oil+every+day.+To+put+this+into+perspective+there+are+20+gallons+of+gas+per+barrel.+An+American+car+averages+24.6+miles+per+gallon+which+equates+to+492+miles+per+barrel.+So+180%2C00+barrels+per+day+multiplied+by+492+miles+per+barrel+is+approx+88.6+million+miles+produced+per+day.+The+moon+is+238%2C900+miles+from+earth.+Meaning+that+each+day+an+individual+could+drive+to+the+moon+and+back+372+times.+
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OUT OF THIS WORLD OIL. ConocoPhillips’ long-pursued The Willow Project, was approved by the Biden administration today. This project aims to drill for a projected 180,000 barrels of oil every day. To put this into perspective there are 20 gallons of gas per barrel. An American car averages 24.6 miles per gallon which equates to 492 miles per barrel. So 180,00 barrels per day multiplied by 492 miles per barrel is approx 88.6 million miles produced per day. The moon is 238,900 miles from earth. Meaning that each day an individual could drive to the moon and back 372 times.

Allowing The Willow Project to go forward will result in the extraction of a staggering amount of oil from Alaska’s north slope which will only serve to exacerbate the already dire climate crisis. Biden’s approval of this project demonstrates a disregard for the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants, in favor of corporate interests and short-term gains.

ConocoPhillips’ long-pursued The Willow Project, was approved by the Biden administration today. This project aims to drill for a projected 180,000 barrels of oil every day. To put this into perspective there are 20 gallons of gas per barrel. An American car averages 24.6 miles per gallon which equates to 492 miles per barrel. So 180,00 barrels per day multiplied by 492 miles per barrel is approx 88.6 million miles produced per day. The moon is 238,900 miles from earth. Meaning that each day an individual could drive to the moon and back 372 times.

Rather than investing in outdated fossil fuel infrastructure like The Willow Project, the U.S. should be focusing efforts on transitioning to cleaner, renewable energy sources.

ConocoPhillips argues that The Willow Project “Is important for Alaska’s economy and for America’s energy security” and could generate between $8 and $17 billion dollars in revenue for the federal government, the state of Alaska, and North slope. Aside from oil production, advocates are championing an estimated 300 permanent jobs and 2,500 temporary construction jobs, which, while promising to Alaska’s economy may be dollars that don’t pay off.

Taking such a large volume of oil will have a significant impact on the environment, as the process of extracting, transporting, and refining oil is known to produce large amounts of greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change. Additionally, the development of the necessary infrastructure to support the project, such as pipelines and roads, would disrupt natural habitats and potentially harm wildlife in the area. It’s better to preserve Alaska’s natural beauty than take more resources.

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Investing in fossil fuel infrastructure like The Willow Project is a short-sighted approach that ignores the need for a transition to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. Focusing on non-renewable resources like oil risks delaying the adoption of renewable energy and missing out on the opportunity to create a more sustainable and prosperous future.

Finally, there is a growing consensus among scientists and policymakers that it is imperative to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. The project would contribute 280 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and risk environmental catastrophe. Carbon dioxide emissions are one of the leading causes of climate change, causing a devastating impact on our planet’s ecosystems and the livelihoods of people and wildlife across the world.

The scale of emissions associated with The Willow Project could exacerbate these imparts and undermine efforts to address climate change. Continuing to invest in fossil fuel extraction projects like the Willow Project only takes the U.S. further away from this goal and puts the planet at risk.

While ConocoPhillips argues that The Willow Project is important for Alaska’s economy and America’s energy security, the benefits that they claim are debatable. The economic benefits of the project may not outweigh the potential environmental costs. Additionally, the revenue generated by the project may not be evenly distributed among the entities that ConocoPhillips claims it would benefit. It is also worth noting that the revenue generated by the project would be derived from non-renewable resources, which are becoming increasingly scarce.

The benefits of The Willow Project must be considered in the broader context of environmental and economic sustainability. The number of jobs created by the project is not that substantial, and are mostly short-term. Thus they would have little long-term economic benefit.

Rather than investing in outdated fossil fuel infrastructure like The Willow Project, the U.S. should be focusing efforts on transitioning to cleaner, renewable energy sources.

As we consider the approval of projects like The Willow Project, it’s important to ask ourselves: are we willing ot trade the health of our planet and the well-being of future generations for short-term economic gain?

For Biden, the answer is yes. For the planet? The answer should be no.

This story was originally published on The Rubicon on March 14, 2023.