Willow project approved, as world focus shifts to banking, and as eco-colonialists are momentarily ignored

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As expected, the Biden Administration issued a decision to reapprove ConocoPhillips’ Willow Project at the edge of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve. The administration also said on Sunday it will put strict limits on what cannot be done further in Alaska’s oilfields.

“The Interior Department also announced that it is preparing new rules to provide maximum protection to millions of acres of lands in the western Arctic, inducing the area around Teshekpuk Lake, a vital home to caribou and other wildlife that are central to Alaska Native communities’ traditional way of life. The actions announced today build on the president’s record of having conserved more lands and water in his first two years than any president since John F. Kennedy,” the news release says from the Department of Interior.

The decision on Willow was leaked to Bloomberg News on Friday. The White House lied to the public later on Friday and said a decision had not been made, but by Sunday all the reporters had their own sources confirming that the project indeed had a go-ahead with three drilling pads.

By Monday, Willow was not even on the front pages of any major news website. The world had moved on from train derailments, to Willow, and now to a chaos around the banking system. Willow was old news, a perfectly executed rollout of news that the White House wanted to avoid.

No longer in control of the narrative, environmentalists still decried the decision, saying that Willow will be catastrophic for the environment because the petroleum from the field will emit 284 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over its 30-year lifetime. That is 9.45 million tons per year.

To put it in perspective, the world’s volcanoes and fissures emit up to 540 million metric tons per year and while global energy-related CO2 emissions exceed 33 billion metric tons per year, according to the International Energy Agency. Willow represents a tiny fraction of the CO2 emissions from human and other sources, such as decaying old-growth forests.

But Willow was, for months, the poster-child climate-change cause for environmentalists who needed something to fight after having been successful in shutting down the Pebble Mine.

“Biden approved Willow knowing full well that it’ll cause massive and irreversible destruction, which is appalling,” said Kristen Monsell, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “People and wildlife will suffer, and extracting and burning more fossil fuel will warm the climate even faster. Biden has no excuse for letting this project go forward in any form. New Arctic drilling makes no sense, and we’ll fight hard to keep ConocoPhillips from breaking ground.”

At its peak production, Willow may provide 180,000 barrels per day of product. In 2019, Texas produced 5,070,450 barrels per day, more than twice the entire Gulf of Mexico production. New Mexico produced 1.4 million barrels per day. Alaska now only produces less than 500,000 barrels per day, primarily due to the war on Alaska by environmentalists.

ConocoPhillips Alaska said it has completed extensive preparations with key contractors and expects to immediately initiate gravel road construction activities. The company continues to review the record of decision and will advance internal approval processes towards a final investment decision.

“This was the right decision for Alaska and our nation,” said Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips chairman and chief executive officer. “Willow fits within the Biden Administration’s priorities on environmental and social justice, facilitating the energy transition and enhancing our energy security, all while creating good union jobs and providing benefits to Alaska Native communities.”

Willow is designed to support and coexist with subsistence activities with many mitigation measures built into the project design, the company said.

“We are truly grateful for the steadfast support from Alaska’s Congressional Delegation – Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Representative Mary Peltola – Alaska Native communities, the state legislature and organized labor groups,” Lance said. “We also thank our employees and the contractor community, who dedicated years to designing a project that will provide reliable energy while adhering to the highest environmental standards.”

Located in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, the project is expected to deliver between $8 billion to $17 billion in new revenue for the federal government, the state of Alaska and North Slope Borough communities. Willow will be built using materials primarily made and sourced in the U.S. and has the potential to create over 2,500 construction jobs and approximately 300 long-term jobs. 

Alaska’s delegation issued statements:

“Today’s Record of Decision (ROD) on the Willow Project is critically important for Alaska’s economy, good-paying jobs for our families, and the future prosperity of our state,” Sen. Dan Sullivan said. “This decision is also crucial for our national security and environment. Producing much-needed American energy in Alaska with the world’s highest environmental standards and lowest emissions enhances the global environment. I can’t thank enough all of the Alaskans who got involved in this fight, including our state legislators, union leaders, industry, university and business officials, and thousands of others from diverse backgrounds who came together to promote a brighter future for Alaska. In particular, I’d like to commend the Alaskans who live on the North Slope, whose ancestors have inhabited the lands closest to this project for thousands of years, and who bravely spoke out—even as far-left, Lower 48, eco-colonialist NGOs continued their efforts to silence Alaska Native voices.”

“We finally did it, Willow is finally reapproved, and we can almost literally feel Alaska’s future brightening because of it. After years of relentless advocacy, we are now on the cusp of creating thousands of new jobs, generating billions of dollars in new revenues, improving quality of life on the North Slope and across our state, and adding vital energy to TAPS to fuel the nation and the world,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski. “This was Alaska at its very best, with ConocoPhillips, Alaska Native leaders, labor leaders, our unanimous State Legislature, and so many more joining with the delegation to do everything we could to make this happen. I thank the administration for listening to Alaskans, rejecting false claims meant to sink this project, and having the courage to make the right decision on Willow.”

“Today, the people of Alaska were heard,” said Rep. Mary Peltola. “After years of consistent, determined advocacy for this project, from people all across the state and from every walk of life, the Willow Project is finally moving forward. I would like to thank the President and his administration for listening to the voices of Alaskans when it mattered most. I would also like to thank Senators Murkowski and Sullivan, and most importantly, our entire movement of Alaska Natives, laborers, state legislators, and everyday Alaskans who never gave up on this goal. Now, it’s on us here in Alaska to make sure that we make the best of this opportunity—that we use the revenues and jobs and economic opportunity from this project to make investments in the future of Alaska. We need to build up our schools, our housing stock, our rural Internet and electric grids, and more, in order to make this a truly 21st-century economy. We can make Alaska a national and global example of what an energy bridge to the future truly looks like, and I am looking forward to meeting this challenge.”

The Department of the Interior’s Record of Decision for the Willow Project is here

36 COMMENTS

  1. Will be next see an announcement that Biden is giving Alaska back to Russia or maybe selling it to China..??

    • Here’s the headline for that:

      ” Biden Sells Alaska Back to Russia So We Can Drill For Oil Again “

      • …After Russia ruthless commanders murder all fmr alaskan leaders and supporters while raping women or rounding up prisoners. Russia was cruel and ruthless and today still are.

        • That would be more evidence of Biden’s thoughtless regime change policy on behalf of his globalist handlers. #afganistan

    • Charlie,
      As soon as Hunter’s laptop shows Hunter having sex with the wife of the Moscow mayor, or Joe sitting down with Hunter and passing around the crack pipe with some underaged girls. Or, as soon as the laptop shows videos of Joe stuffing Chinese cash into his vest while boarding Air Force Two in Beijing. But don’t hold your breath. We still haven’t seen all of Hillary’s emails yet, or have we seen the flight manifest of prominent Democrats flying to Pedophile Island with Epstein. Democrats are masters of secreting the Truth from the public. And their allies in the Press give them superb cover.

  2. The key was what was hinted over the weekend. If not stopped, grandpa intends this to be last call for Alaska energy.

    Effectively, last call for Alaska.

    • It’s approved. Did anyone miss that phenomenon. The head honcho at ConocoPhillips got the memo. Pay attention to that and take a break for a day or two to the endless nattering of negativity.

      • It’s a long way from surviving the court fights, back room deals, and changes in political winds of the moment.

        Moreover, the issue is, Biden is trying to use this to end energy production here. Somehow that escaped your notice. I’m not surprised.

        You remind me of Kevin Bacon in Animal House insisting “all is well!” while a riot is occurring around him.

        But you do you, boo. Keeps any of the rest of us from having to.

    • Europe has now transitioned back to selling >50% new ICE vehicles vs new electric. The world understands much that the dementia patient does not and future administrations are unlikely to care about his limitations on anything. Much will be reversed and for the better.

      My father is in his 80’s and makes about as much sense as Biden does. He can appear friendly and at least marginally coherent but he shouldn’t be entrusted to manage lunch. Same w/ Biden and there will be a rush to undo the mess he’s caused.

    • I wonder if Representative Peltola-Marx (C-Bethel) has spoken out about, and against, this Willow development and project approval? I’d be shocked if she did not condemn it, as would be de rigueur for a radical leftist such as she.

      • Jeff: if you were paying attention you would know Peltola supported. The only thing shocking is your inability to follow what is going on and restrain yourself from making ignorant snarky comments that deviate from reality. Oh wait, that isn’t shocking at all. Get a grip and get real, already.

        • The irony here is you attacking others for snark.

          Pro tip. Read your posts out loud before sending them.

          I’m curious: did someone pee in your Wheeties this morning?

          • Yet another self-perceived insight from an individual who hides behind a mask. Hardly the mark of a “pro.”
            Could it be the Masked Dude is posting from mom’s basement in between gaming sessions with anonymous bloggers?
            If tedious was a virtue and marketable, The Masked Avenger would be a star and blogging for bucks.

    • If Brandon is re-elected we can count on him shutting down the same program he just authorized. This was only to fool the squishy “independents” in 2024..

      There will never be a drop of oil produced from Willow.

  3. This is probably the first, the VERY first, semi-rational decision by the puppetmasters of China Joe since the usurper was illegitimately installed in the White House (obviously, the drooling, babbling husk that is China Joe himself is incapable of, and completely removed from, any meaningful decision-making himself).

  4. Investing in domestic oil is foolish. I question the competence of any CEO willing to risk capital on the whims of the US government.

    Smart money is to focus on production in places where the government is less likely to pull the rug on your investment.

    Breaks my heart to say it, but oil companies should be looking to divest US assets rather than expand.

    • Great Scott. Places like Russia or Nigeria?
      Could we just celebrate a win for once. Even if it is for a day.
      The US is a decent, even very good place in which to invest.

      • In the US you have to spend millions to get approval. Then a few million more in contributions to political bosses and unions, don’t forget a few bucks to keep the Eco-warriors off your back either. Very important to fork out some bucks for swanky New York cocktail parties so the media will write nice things about you (or at least write nothing at all). Once you are done with those expenses reserve some cash to make sure OSHA, MSHAW, IRS, EPA, and a whole bevy of lawyers get their beak wet. Once you finish the list, rinse and repeat because if you stop your shareholders will loose everything.

        Doesn’t take long before your shareholders are far better off with the Russia or Nigeria route. Funny thing about Russia and Nigeria, they don’t hide their corruption….All problems are fixed by a brand new Lamborghini for the head of state (maybe a new horse for Putin). Corrupt? Your damn right it is. Still, the “expense” of doing business in developing nations is a heck of a lot lower than it is here.

        BTW – We have exactly ONE thing going for us in the USA. We have the best and most talented workforce in the world. Still, if we don’t pull our head out and get these “expenses” under control we will loose that too!

        • Fake analysis. Do you really, really, really think you know more than the folks at ConocoPhillips who decided the play in Alaska was superior to, oh let’s say Russia?
          Falling in love with your own hooey is easy but ask yourself whether it is based on reality?

          • Joe, you do have the typical arrogance of the radical leftist. I find your posts consistently biased, skewed from reality, and insulting. I guess such is to expected from a scumbag lawyer operating within the predatory and parasitical “legal system” that you do.

  5. I’m always curious about the environmentalists. How do they get around? walk? what do they use to heat their homes with?

    • They drive around in cars, and they heat their houses with gas or fuel oil. Just like everyone else.
      .
      When environmentalists push for the shut down of oil production and similar enviro stuff, they are telling you to stop using it, not them. It does not apply to them.

    • For the Liberal Environmentalists money and batteries grow on trees, electricity comes from the wall, and food comes from the grocery store. I had one tell me plastics will be replaced by rice.

    • What, Ben, you are asking radical leftist extremists to acknowledge the putrid overflow of logical contradictions, hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance produced by the chaotic mess of synaptic misfirings that passes for their minds? Good luck with that!

    • We know they use the same we use. They see the goal not the cost nor unintended repurcussions of “green energy.” i know that bristol bay should rather have a mine than a wind farm. Windmills and salmon do not coexist.

  6. Science is supposed to be based on data and math. The whole “global warming” crisis has nothing to do with either nor the planet warming. It has to do with power and who gets it and keeps it.

    Three long established and reputable scientists just published a paper all should read at this site:

    ‘https://co2coalition.org/publications/challenging-net-zero-with-science-lindzen-happer-co2-coalition-paper-released/

    The site contains a summary of the paper and a link to get the entire paper.

    Read and learn.

    Fergie

    • Fergie, there is no need to boggle my mind with a scholastic tome written by three eminent scientists. I had my mind made up long ago that the left was gaming the academic system for their own personal gain. Besides, if the end is nearing–which I doubt–I personally won’t see it play out. And regardless of how you look at it, everything ends; so what’s the big deal? As for me, there is plenty of time to enjoy what I’m doing! When I was young and struggling not a soul offered to help me! I learned that it’s every man for himself. And when you think of it, the poor are made stronger and more resourceful during tough times!

  7. Put this in perspective.
    During the next few years we will have 180,000 bpd from Willow, 80,000 bpd from Pikka phase 1 and another 80,000 bpd from phase 2, and will have 120,000 bpd from Pantheon Resources site which is right next to the pipeline and they are already started delivering by truck.

    We will double the flow through the pipeline over the next few years.

    • Afterward?

      Part of why we (Alaska) are in the mess we’re in is nobody stopped to consider what happened when throughput slowed the first time.

      Now is good. But we gotta think about tomorrow as well.

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