Opinion: The government should be doing more to mitigate America’s emissions

The government should prioritize the future of the planet rather than corporations

While+it+may+be+true+that+oil+and+fossil+fuels+are+a+necessary+and+quick+resource+for+the+present+day%2C+JagWire+reporter+Anna+Zwahlen+argues+there+has+to+be+a+middle+ground+between+demand+and+climate+progress.

By Katelyn Krosky

While it may be true that oil and fossil fuels are a necessary and quick resource for the present day, JagWire reporter Anna Zwahlen argues there has to be a middle ground between demand and climate progress.

Anna Zwahlen, JagWire editor-in-chief, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

We’ve all been urged to “go green” since our first introduction to environ- mentalism in third grade, when we learned to recycle and reduce our carbon footprint. However, the recent approval of the Willow Project demonstrates a lack of commitment of the U.S. government to reduce America’s carbon footprint as a whole. Instead of approving more carbon emitting projects like Willow, the government should be using its power to work towards reducing emissions by, at the very least, incorporating emissions mitigation into harmful projects.

…it remains true that more needs to be done to curtail emissions and global warming despite immediate economic concerns.

— junior Anna Zwahlen

The project is expected to emit 277 million tons of carbon dioxide over the course of its operation. While many in America are cutting back on their own emissions, big oil companies and large corporations are being given the green light by the U.S government for further climate destruction, each approval being unaccompanied by any form of emission offsetting amendments.

Despite the predicted environmental impacts of the project, it has many supporters in unions and bipartisan legislatures. They argue that the project will cut emissions by enforcing regulations stricter than that of the companies whose oil America imports and will create jobs for the local populations.

The Willow project does have the benefits of a lesser evil. It has been cut from five drilling pads to three and provides jobs while cutting imports. However, it remains true that more needs to be done to curtail emissions and global warming despite immediate economic concerns.

It was well within the hands of the government to offset the negative impacts of the project and others like it in the long run. In fact, an amendment to the approval of the lease was ultimately dropped which would have, according to Biden, mitigated at least 50% of the project’s emissions.

Rather than the lax conditions under which the Willow project was approved, the U.S. Government should be operating in more environmentally conscious ways. With the approval of a new project, there should be increased investment in renewable energies and environmental conservation. The world is only being pushed closer to the edge of the cliffs of disaster by the passage of acts like this.

Without at least some modicum of restraint in our pursuit of oil, we can’t hope to see investment in renewable energy. While it may be true that oil and fossil fuels are a necessary and quick resource for the present day, there has to be a middle ground between demand and climate progress.

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