President of the United States (POTUS), Joe Biden’s approval of the Willow Project has caught a lot of flack recently, but he still cares about the environment.
A press release from Washington D.C. explained that President Joe Biden has stayed the cutting of a tree on White House grounds in a sincere effort to curb climate change. Biden explains that the decision to save the century-old oak tree from getting cut down was one that required a lot of thought and caused him to receive criticism from his Cabinet.
However, President Biden claims his promises to protect the environment during the 2020 presidential elections motivated him to go forward with his decision. Assistant Professor, Dr. Rodrick Featherington, of the ethnobotany department at York University, explains that Biden’s decision was the right one.
“While saving a singular tree might not appear significant, it is,” says Featherington. “It demonstrates not only Biden’s, but the entire country’s dedication to reverse the climate crisis. Data shows us that one oak tree is able to absorb up to 500 lbs of carbon dioxide from the air every day.”
Feathertington adds, “if the Biden administration continues to take such steps, climate change will be something we read about in history books, not our constant, lived-in reality.”
When questioned about Biden’s approval of the controversial Willow Project, the Professor explains, “The Willow Project is harmful for the environment and the Indigenous people living in Alaska, but saving the White House tree will make up for some of the drilling — which begins soon.”
According to CNN, the Willow Project hopes to acquire a projected 600 million barrels of oil. The project will be conducted by ConocoPhillips, the only company that has drilling operations/ leases in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. While the construction of the project has not yet begun, Biden’s given the company the go-ahead, meaning it could start anytime.
Professor Madison Avenue of the department of politics at York University, concurs with Featherington’s argument, claiming that the approval of the Willow Project does not detract from the tree getting saved.
“We must understand that governments cannot be expected to appease the public at all times,” states Avenue. “Washington has to make difficult decisions that might prove detrimental to humanity’s future on Earth because the economy demands it. But what people don’t realize is that they also need the economy to live — so the Project is really aiding us rather than harming us.”
Avenue cites basic science in the President’s reasoning, stating, “trees absorb enough carbon from the atmosphere to reverse any damage the drilling will cause.” In terms of politics, Avenue adds, “the oil that the United States will recover from the Project will decide their future with the Middle East. American imperialism will come to an end once the Project reaps its rewards.”
Joe Biden had promised to end all new oil drilling programs, but some people claim the project’s approval goes against his campaign promises.
Gilbert Grey, a second-year horticulture student, states, “I support Biden’s decision to save the tree. I think it’s so important to conserve the environment, and Biden probably grew up with that tree, so I get it. But I do not support the Willow Project.”
Eevee Vulpix, a fourth-year oenology student says, “I don’t understand why climate justice warriors hate the Willow Project so much. I think it helps the economy — and in doing so, it’ll help everyone in America.”
In a statement released by the White House, President Biden elaborated on his decision, stating, “America’s biodiversity is our prized possession and I strive to protect it. This particular tree is one I see everyday, it reminds me that I’m the President of the greatest country in the world.”
The United States’ commitment to save the tree paints a larger picture, highlighting the country’s leading efforts in reversing the climate crisis. As far as the Willow Project is concerned, two steps forward and one step backward is still one step forward.