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The Northern Star

The Northern Star

The Northern Star

Another success for NVD's annual art show
Michelle Yu, Co-News Editor • June 12, 2024

NVD holds an annual art show to display students’ artwork from different art classes the school provides, including studio art and digital...

NVD student's summer songs
Lola Brown, Co Editor-in-chief • June 12, 2024

As the weather gets warmer and seasonal depression is in the rearview mirror, certain songs perfectly match the mood. These “summer songs”...

Graduation caps being thrown in the air.
Photo courtesy of
A senior looks back
Lucy Brisman, Managing Editor/Opinion Editor • May 31, 2024

13 years ago, County Road Elementary School gave me an ID that defined me for my entire academic career. The first four numbers were 2024....

Willow Project Dangers
(photo courtesy of Many pipelines were installed upon approval of the Willow Project to drill oil.

The Willow Project is a controversial oil drilling project in Alaska that has promoted more online activism regarding the environment. President Joe Biden broke his campaign promise of having no new drilling on federal lands when he recently approved the project on March 13, 2023.

“If Willow produces as much oil over thirty years as expected, the consumption of that oil would release the equivalent of 277 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That’s about 4 percent of U.S. annual emissions, from one project, at a time when emissions need to fall rapidly for the country to achieve its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050,” Noah Gordon, the co-director of the Sustainability, Climate, and Geopolitics Program, said in a Carnegie article. 

The project has caused an increase of internet activism opposing the decision, gathering more than a million emails to the White House and millions of signatures on petitions from and other platforms. There has been a lot of effort put into trying to prevent this project because of certain beliefs that it would be harmful to the environment. 

“The area where the project is planned holds up to 600 million barrels of oil… By the administration’s own estimates, 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,” Ella Nilsen said in a CNN article regarding the recently approved Willow Project. 

According to many experts, the Willow Project poses a large threat to the local wildlife and ecosystem in Alaska. The Willow Project was approved to be located at the National Petroleum Reserve in the North Slope, the northernmost coastal area of Alaska, rich in oil and natural gas. The construction of the drilling sites, pipeline, and increased shipping process associated with the project could have devastating impacts on the species residing there.

Furthermore, as burning fossil fuels is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, many climate change advocates believe that the extraction of oil and gas from the North Slope will have an extremely negative impact on the global climate problem. 

Despite these concerns, ConocoPhillips has defended the project as an important source of jobs and economic growth for the residents living in Alaska. The company claims that it has taken measures to lessen the environmental impacts of the project, such as adding advanced spill prevention, response systems, and using ice roads to minimize the need for new architecture. 

“I think it’s horrible that the Willow Project got approved recently, and I never expected our President to do that. After reading how badly it will impact the environment in Alaska and how much more it could increase climate change, I signed some petitions on different websites,” junior Gaby Gomez said. 

Environmentalists strongly believe the approval of the Willow Project is very worrying for the future of environmental protection in the United States. Many believe that President Biden must recognize the grave environmental risks posed by the Willow Project, and take action to reverse his decision before it is too late.


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About the Contributor
Michelle Yu
Michelle Yu, News/Co-Photo-Design Editor
Hi! My name is Michelle Yu, I'm a senior, and I am the News Editor and Photo/Design Co-Editor of the Northern Star! I love swimming, drawing, and hanging out with my friends. A fun fact about me is that I've been playing cello since I was 5. I'm excited to write for the News section of the paper this year!
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