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Alaska House, on 34-4 vote, joins legal brief supporting Willow Project against environmental lawsuit

The Alaska House of Representatives voted 34-4 on Friday to join a legal amicus brief in support of the Willow Project, which was approved by President Joe Biden but then immediately frozen due to a lawsuit by the nation’s largest and most well-funded environmental groups, which are challenging the approval of three of the five proposed drilling pads for ConocoPhillips.

“It is time to put an end to the baseless lawsuits filed by extremist environmental groups, which only serve to impede progress and prevent Alaskans from reaping the benefits of the Willow Project,” according to the House news release.

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Voting against support for Willow defense were three Democrats and one Republican: Rep. Genevieve Mina, Rep. Andrew Gray, Rep. Ashley Carrick, and Rep. David Eastman.

Last month, the House vote was unanimous in sending a resolution to President Joe Biden in support of an approval of the master development plan.

“We are taking a stand for the people of Alaska and standing up to those who would stifle progress and deny them the opportunity to prosper,” said House Speaker Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla. “By joining this amicus brief, we send a clear message that we will not be deterred by frivolous lawsuits and will continue to fight for the critical projects that will benefit Alaskans for decades to come.”

Rep. Dan Saddler noted that “Following the legally established process for getting permits, performing environmental studies, local impact, etc. etc, is no longer sufficient to bring resolution and progress on development issues in Alaska. The battles are now fought in the courtroom and the tools are now briefs. I think it’s important that representatives of this body, in this body of our citizens, join with those of our federal delegation in making a clear statement to the court, which I understand has the duty to give special deference to the expressed views of the Legislature in making their decision whether or not to grant the injunction.”

The project could generate up to 180,000 barrels of oil a day during peak production, and provide $8 billion in tax revenue. About 2,500 jobs would be created during construction, with 300 permanent jobs that would be available for operations.

“This is standing for our way of life,” said Rep. Sarah Vance, of Homer. “By the Legislature choosing to join on this brief it is defending our national security and our right to develop our own resources and be energy independent. We don’t have to go searching other places for the oil that we have right here.”

Rep. David Eastman said he was hesitant to support the amicus brief and that he had not had enough time to read it and he was unsure if he could support the Legislature getting involved in the court matter.

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. Ashley Carrick, I get. She’s a radical environmentalist, as was her former boss, Rep. Adam Wool, the guy who sent hundreds of college aged kids onto the Parks Highway with BA readings of .20 or higher. But what’s with David Eastman?

    • “said he was hesitant to support the amicus brief and that he had not had enough time to read it and he was unsure if he could support the Legislature getting involved in the court matter.“

      Just got to read dude

      • Uh, hello …… Different. Willow will pay Eastman’s salary. Or did Eastman forget that Alaska government runs on oil production from the North Slope. Even the envirowackos know that.

  2. I support the dissenting legislators to vote the way they did as long as:

    1. Their constituents agree, otherwise, they should vote them out next election, and
    2. If you’re anti Oil and Gas, don’t claim a permanent fund dividend. Let’s be consistent after all.

    While it is only a non-binding resolution, good job legislature making this happen. Now get us a balanced budget…


  3. If this project doesn’t go the general economy in Alaska is going to collapse like a Chinese balloon shot down by a $250.000 missile.

    Exactly what are we going to build these electric vehicles, solar panels and wind mills out of?? I’m very curious about that. Not to mention the needed power plants to charge this stuff up.

    Mabie the Chinese & Russians are paying these protesters they would love to see America destroyed from within.

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