U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Commerce released data showing real gross domestic product contracted by 0.9 percent in the second quarter of 2022, following a decline of 1.6 percent in the first quarter of 2022. Two consecutive quarters of GDP decline indicate the U.S. economy is in recession.
“Between falling GDP, rising interest rates, high gas prices, the highest inflation in four decades, stagnating wage growth, and warning signs in the workforce and housing markets, there is no question that our economy is troubled. The Biden administration has a responsibility to face that head on, not to try to redefine what it means to be in a recession,” Murkowski said. “The current economic reality is hurting American families and businesses. This is not the time to spend or tax hundreds of billions more; it is time to start approving common sense development projects like Willow that will help bring down inflation, create jobs, and return our economy to growth—at no cost to taxpayers.”
The Willow project is supposedly supported by the Biden Administration, but was held up by a judge who remanded the record of decision back to the Bureau of Land Management on Aug. 18, 2021. The agency came forward with a partial environmental impact statement, but is slow-walking its response to the court decision; the Biden Administration is manipulated by the environmental nonprofit organizations that overly influence the Administration and ignore or run circles around the declining president.
Murkowski may or may not be influential with Biden, but she was a vocal opponent of President Donald Trump, who acted quickly in his presidency to open up opportunity for Alaska’s economy, pushed the Willow Project, and led America to what was arguably the most successful economy in history.
The Willow Project is in the Northeast corner of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The area holds about 600 million barrels of oil, or more than is currently left in the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But it will take years to bring that oil to market, with the lawsuits and delays from the government. It is not the answer to the immediate supply problem with energy.
Meanwhile, the Biden Administration announced it will sell an additional 20 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, after releasing one million barrels per day from the reserve since March.
The SPR is the national energy security vault that is held in salt caverns on the coasts of Louisiana and Texas. Created following the 1973 energy crisis and having storage capacity of up to 713.5 million barrels, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve currently holds the lowest level reserve since 1987, with just 538 million barrels.