Murkowski, Sullivan and Peltola urge BLM to reapprove Project Willow by year’s end

20.09.22

Delegation highlights project’s high environmental standards and benefits to U.S. energy security

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (both R-Alaska) and Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola (D-Alaska) today 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 winter construction season. In their letter, the Alaska congressional delegation noted that the project was developed to the highest environmental standards in the world and is strongly supported by Alaska Native leaders, labor leaders, the state of Alaska, lawmakers from both parties and President Joe Biden.

“Early approval of this crucial project would greatly benefit Alaska, our country, and the world, while demonstrating the administration’s commitment to fighting inflation, high energy costs, the need for greater energy security and environmental justice initiatives”, the delegation wrote. “After years of study and review, the administration and the people of Alaska can be confident that the project will adhere to the strictest environmental considerations in the world, while being built and operated by a company with a track record. impressive safe and responsible development in the North Slope.

“We believe that the final SEIS should identify the preferred alternative; appropriately weight the purpose of power generation in the NPR-A; and recognize the public interest in supporting energy security and responsible resource development. The permitting process must be completed by the end of 2022 at the latest so that the project developer can make a final investment decision and hire Alaskans in time for the winter construction season. This decision will not be possible, and none of these jobs will be created, without a clean and timely record of decision.

Click here to read the full letter.

Chronology

  • In July 2022, BLM Alaska released 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 for Project Willow and urging the Home Office to quickly 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 quickly complete a SEIS and reapprove Project Willow.
  • On May 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a brief with the U.S. District Court for Alaska defending Project Willow. After reviewing the final ROD of the Willow Master Development Plan (MDP), approved in October 2020 by the Trump administration, to ensure its consistency with the Biden administration’s first executive orders on addressing climate change, the administration found the ROD legally sufficient. The filing follows 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 PNR-A,written to Secretary Haaland asks him to allow the Willow CDM to go ahead.
  • On April 21, 2021, George Edwardson, President of the Arctic Slope Iñupiat Community, written to Secretary Haaland in support of the Willow MPD.
  • On April 15, 2021, North Slope Borough Mayor Harry Brower, Jr. and Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige written to Secretary Haaland urges him to allow responsible oil and gas development on federal lands in Alaska.
  • On February 13, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals extended an injunction from the Willow MPD District Court, pending appeal.
  • On February 1, 2021, the U.S. District Court for Alaska issued an injunction on the Willow MPD.
  • On October 27, 2020, BLM released the ROD for the Willow MPD.
  • On August 14, 2020, BLM released the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Willow MPD.

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