Senators and Peltola urge Deb Haaland to permit Willow

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U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Congresswoman Mary Peltola today sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, urging her Bureau of Land Management to complete the permitting process for the Willow Project in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska by the end of the year, so that construction can start this winter.

In their letter, the Alaska delegation noted that the project has been developed under the strictest 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.

“The expeditious approval of this crucial project would greatly benefit Alaska, our nation, and the world, while demonstrating the Administration’s commitment to addressing inflation, high energy costs, the need for greater energy security, and environmental justice initiatives,” the delegation wrote. “After years of study and review, both the Administration and Alaskans can feel confident that the Project will abide by the strictest environmental considerations in the world, while being constructed and operated by a company with an impressive record of safe and responsible development on the North Slope.

“We believe the final SEIS should identify the preferred alternative; appropriately weight the purpose of energy production 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 very latest so the project’s proponent can make a final investment decision and hire Alaskans in time for the winter construction season. That decision will not be possible, and none of those jobs will be created, in the absence of a clean and timely Record of Decision (ROD).”

Political observers have noted that the Democrats controlling the White House are likely to allow the Willow project to be permitted in order to help the campaign of Peltola, as she runs for the two-year congressional seat.

The Willow discovery was announced by Conoco-Phillips in 2017, and could produce more than 100,000 barrels of oil per day. It would create thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs, and contribute tax revenue to federal, state and local entities. The proposed project would consist of drill sites, access and infield roads, pipelines, a processing plant and other facilities to support production and transportation of petroleum from federal oil and gas leases in the NPR-A while minimizing impact to the environment and subsistence resources. 

In 2021, federal Judge Sharon Gleason voided an earlier Bureau of Land Management approval of ConocoPhillips’ Willow development, by declaring that the federal agency had not considered greenhouse gases as an effect of the project. Gleason also complained that the environmental impact statement should have either included an estimate of emissions resulting from oil consumption as a result of Willow or it should have explained why such data could not be estimated. She also said she wanted more protection for caribou in the Teshekpuk Lake area.

33 COMMENTS

  1. in other news, the AK delegation spent the afternoon talking to a brick wall. It turned out to be more productive than the conversation they had with Haaland.

  2. Which House candidate was seen this morning nailing up boards on the (regulatory) fence to keep Alaska from contributing to ending the national energy crisis?

    Oh, and tacking up campaign signs along with the boards!

  3. For her entire Congressional career Murkowski ran on opening up ANWR and when Trump finally gave it to her, she spit in his eye! She is a very confused and conflicted woman!

    • No, she “spit in his eye” when he committed treason, insurrection, and had a crying baby meltdown tantrum over losing an election, not before. It’s a shame it took that long, really.

      • Murkowski started spitting in Trump’s eye as soon as he was nominated. IF Trump committed any of those actions, it was LONG after Murkowski declared him an enemy.

      • Holy spit, here we go with this again…Trump committed no “insurrection” you imbecile. There was a riot on Jan. 6, 2021 carried out by a few hundred crazies (likely incited by undercover feds) that were let in to the capitol by police and mostly walked around and took pictures. It was a…what’s the phrase you commies like to use? Oh, “mostly peaceful protest.” As to committing treason? What evidence have you of that? Serious question, I want to see it. Treason is a serious accusation, there must be blatant evidence of such a heinous act and I’d like to be informed. Was he sleeping with a Chinese spy? No, wait, that was Eric Swallowswell. Sorry. Did he get millions of dollars from a state-run Chinese corporation through his son? Yikes sorry again that was President Potato Head. Well he must have done something much much worse than that, right? If so, I want to know what it was. And accusing Trump of having a tantrum over losing an election is hilarious coming from someone who likely voted for Hillary in ’16. She still hasn’t let that one go. Sorry the rig job didn’t work, at least it did this time! Congrats!

  4. Alaska should just do the project without the feds approval. The feds still owe us land and rights so what are they going to do sue us. The feds only power is the FBI. They are after Trump so go for it.

    • I don’t see why the Native Corporation (s) can’t do it. Then let the feds legally whine. What was that? Native Claim Settlement Act anyone? Let them argue with the courts, while they drill for oil. It’s their birthright. By 12,000 years. Legally.

      • Anon, because the Project is on federal land! It’s in the NATIONAL Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, not on Native lands (which also deserves noting that not all Native lands include subsurface rights).

    • It will contribute taxes to the North Slope Borough and royalties to the NPR-A Impact Grant Mitigation Fund. And then there are the jobs which many Alaskans will take.

  5. Despite the shameful politics and nefarious political actors, it’s a very worthy Development Project that would pay great dividends and benefits to Alaskans and Alaska. And, the developer, ConocoPhillips, has high integrity and reputation.

  6. What? The conservatives claimed peltola was just a younger Nancy Pelosi! Now Peltola supports oil development? What will y’all complain about next?

    • Easy to support something when you know it will never happen.
      Makes her the perfect leftist. Sort of like those poor people on Martha’s Vineyard, who are all about supporting the immigrants, well… right up to the point they actually show up.
      .
      It is simple, really. I am actually kind of surprised that Pelosi has not cottoned onto to this strategy. Make a bid deal about supporting something when you damned well know it will never be realized.

    • Lucinda – Peltola will give lip service to oil development & gun rights until she gets her marching orders from Comrade Pelosi and then she will do whatever the politburo requires. She knows who butters her bread!

      • Actually, Pelosi will allow Petola to push for energy development in AK. In fact, you can bet your bottom dollar on it.
        None of the actions Petola takes will see the light of day. Pelosi knows it is important to keep a Democrat in the AK Congressional seat. She will ensure Petola is doing everything she can to look like she is creating oil and mining jobs. The image is everything.

  7. I’m sure little miss Debbie does Washington will jump right on that. Mark, the U.S. Constitution is very clear about land holdings by the federal government. Article 1 section 8, never been amended.

  8. Be a big surprise if Haaland actually agrees. This would be throwing a bone to Peltola to strengthen her position for the upcoming election.

    • No, that would not be a surprise. In fact, I kind of expect it.
      Say the permit will get issued, than slow walk it to the point it dies on the vine.

  9. An interesting situation is arising. The left has recently embraced Native Americans with the appointment of Haaland and Peltola’s easy RCV induced victory. However, many tribes survive on oil royalties and other resource developments both off and on tribal lands. Oil leases were recently cancelled on Navajo land and we’ll see what happens with Willow. Native Americans aren’t always on board with our government and they can play the race card.

    • These leases are on federal lands, not Native lands. And based on the comment letters on Willow, it appears the majority of Native organizations support the Project. But MRAK readers are largely loathe to look at the official documents that are publicly available—too easy to compare Congresswoman Petola to Speaker Pelosi, but at least they’re owning the libs.

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