When Alaska’s delegation met with President Joe Biden on Friday, Sullivan had a leave-behind document for the commander-in-chief: A map showing all of the areas that Biden has locked down in Alaska.
Sen. Dan Sullivan, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and Rep. Mary Peltola pressed the president to approve the Willow Project, a ConocoPhillips oil play in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. It’s a long shot, observers say, because the Biden Administration is owned by the environmental lobby. It was the first-ever meeting of the entire Alaska delegation and the president, who is now in his third year in office.
The map and the legend that goes with it shows that starting on Biden’s first day in office on Jan. 20, 2021, he took 10 adverse actions by his administration against Alaska in just the first three months. Another 10 adverse decisions were made before Thanksgiving that year, for a total of 20. And by the end of that year, the total number was 41 orders and rules that locked down Alaska’s resource economy.
Must Read Alaska has obtained an exclusive copy of that map, above, and legend, below:
Sullivan, Murkowski, and Peltola issued a joint statement after their meeting with the president and his advisers:
“We met with the President and his senior advisors in the Oval Office for more than an hour yesterday afternoon. The conversation was honest and respectful, and we appreciated the President’s recognition of how critical this moment is for Alaska’s future our nation’s energy transition.
“We were united in our advocacy for the Willow Project and made the strongest possible case for it. From state and national labor voices to Alaska Native leaders—Alaskans have repeatedly made clear their strong and united support for the project, and traveled thousands of miles to share their stories as to why the Willow Project will support their communities and families.
“Now, this decision is in the hands of the President. We hope the President will listen to the voices of indigenous Alaskans who live on the North Slope, the voices of labor leaders and union workers who are ready to help build Alaska’s economy, listen to the voices of national security officials underscoring the importance of Willow for American energy security, listen to the unanimous voice of members of the Alaska Legislature, and most importantly, listen to the Alaskans whose children and communities stand to benefit from the Willow Project for generations to come.
“The President has all the information he needs to make the right decision for Alaska and for the nation, and reapprove a three-pad, economically-viable Willow Project alternative without delay.”
The statement added that the Willow Project is a meticulously planned, socially just, and economically crucial project that will cover 0.002% of Alaska’s petroleum reserve, which itself is the size of Indiana. After the Obama-Biden administration encouraged development in the petroleum reserve, the project’s proponent, ConocoPhillips, entered federal permitting and received approval for it in 2020.
After further environmental analysis over the past two years, civil servants at the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management recently recommended its re-approval with three pads; anything less would be non-viable and equivalent to a denial.
The Willow Project has widespread support from the delegation; Alaska Natives, including those who live on the North Slope; state and national labor groups such as the AFL-CIO; many additional stakeholders, and is unanimously supported by the Alaska State Legislature, the statement added.
The Alaska delegation says it expects the Biden administration’s final decision on the Willow Project next week.