Alaska Legislature Passes Unanimous Resolution Supporting Willow Project
Legislators Join Chorus of Alaskans Urging White House to Approve Vital Project
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (both R-Alaska), and Representative Mary Sattler Peltola (D-Alaska), today thanked members of the Alaska House and the Alaska Senate for passing a unanimous resolution supporting the pending Willow Project on Alaska’s North Slope, and urging the White House to approve the economically-viable “Alternative E” project scope recommended by career Department of the Interior (DOI) staff and scientists. DOI issued the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) for Willow on February 1, and the administration is expected to release a final Record of Decision (ROD) for the project within the next week.
“I thank the members of both chambers of the Alaska State Legislature for unanimously approving resolutions calling for the re-approval of the Willow Project. This is the latest and most visible demonstration of Alaskans’ strong, united, bipartisan support for this important project, building on support from Alaska Natives, union laborers, and countless others,” Senator Murkowski said. “The elected leaders who wrote and passed these resolutions recognize Willow’s economic significance, its national security benefits, its environmental advantages, and its ability to create needed opportunities all across the state. The message from Alaska is crystal clear: we urge the Biden administration to listen to our voices, as well as BLM career scientists, and re-approve Willow to allow an economically viable project to advance.”
“Three weeks ago in my speech before the Alaska Legislature, I respectfully asked every member of the Legislature—Democrats, Republicans, and Independents—to pass a unanimous, bicameral resolution demonstrating the strong, unified support of Alaskans for the Willow Project from our elected leaders,” said Senator Sullivan. “They delivered, and I want to thank them. This resolution sends a powerful message to the Biden administration in the final days before a Record of Decision is expected. I join all Alaska legislators in urging President Biden to respect the career staff and scientists who said this project can be done in a responsible way, and to hear the voices of those most impacted by this project: Alaskans. For the good of our families, our workers, our economy, our environment, and our national security—approve Willow now!”
Representative Peltola said, “This resolution demonstrates what Alaskans have been saying with one voice for years: we need Willow. I’m encouraged that the state legislature has made this clear once again with a unanimous resolution of support for this project. I encourage President Biden and the Department of the Interior to listen to this strong statement from Alaska’s elected representatives. Alaska Native leaders, labor groups, local elected officials, and Alaskans from every walk of life support Willow because we know that a clean energy transition will still rely on gap oil. Willow will give Alaska, and America, a reliable source of domestic energy to help power that transition. As we enter the final stretch leading up to the Administration’s decision, I will continue to advocate strongly for this project. Alaska’s future is at stake.”
- On February 1, 2023, DOI released a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) for the Willow Project on Alaska’s North Slope.
- On December 21, 2022 the Alaska congressional delegation received a commitment from the Biden administration that the FSEIS would be released by the end of January 2023 and the Record of Decision completed by the end of February 2023.
- On September 20, 2022 the Alaska delegation sent a letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland urging the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to complete the permitting process for the Willow Project in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) by the end of the year, in time for the winter construction season.
- In July 2022, BLM Alaska issued a draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for the Willow Project.
- On July 15, 2022, Senators Murkowski and Sullivan wrote a letter to Secretary Haaland reiterating their strong support of the Willow Project and urging the Department of the Interior to promptly approve it.
- On March 8, 2022, Senators Murkowski and Sullivan and the late Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska) wrote a letter to Secretary Haaland urging the Department of the Interior to expeditiously complete an SEIS and re-approve the Willow Project.
- On May 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a brief with the U.S. District Court for Alaska defending the Willow Project. After reviewing the final ROD for the Willow Master Development Plan (MDP), approved in October 2020 by the Trump administration, for consistency with the Biden administration’s initial executive orders on addressing climate change, the administration found the ROD legally sufficient. The filing followed weeks of advocacy and outreach by the Alaska delegation to President Biden and his administration.
- On April 26, 2021, the municipal mayors of Utqiagvik, Wainwright, and Atqasuk—three communities located within the boundaries of NPR-A—wrote to Secretary Haaland asking her to allow the Willow MDP to move forward.
- On April 21, 2021, George Edwardson, president of the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope, wrote to Secretary Haaland in support of the Willow MDP.
- On April 15, 2021, North Slope Borough Mayor Harry Brower, Jr. and Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige wrote to Secretary Haaland urging her to allow responsible oil and gas development on federal lands in Alaska to proceed.
- On February 13, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals extended a District Court injunction of the Willow MDP, pending appeal.
- On February 1, 2021, the U.S. District Court for Alaska issued an injunction on the Willow MDP.
- On October 27, 2020, BLM issued the ROD for the Willow MDP.
- On August 14, 2020, BLM published the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Willow MDP.
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