Daily Energy Insider:Alaska’s congressional delegation urges Dept. of Interior to finalize EIS on Willow project

Congress members from Alaska are urging the Department of the Interior to finalize the supplemental environmental impact statement for ConocoPhillips’ Willow project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

The Willow project is a multi-billion-dollar development proposed by ConocoPhillips in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve that contains an estimated 8.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil. The project could result in the production of 130,000 barrels of oil per day.

“There is no doubt the COVID-19 crisis has introduced challenges to business operations, but we understand BLM has been extraordinarily responsive to these challenges to engage all interested parties in the review and development of the supplemental EIS,” U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), along with U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-AK), wrote to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. “A critical part of our recovery from this crisis is for agencies, like BLM, to ensure that economic development and infrastructure projects have the permits they need to move forward and that reviews are not delayed or deferred.

They pointed out that this is a supplemental EIS, which is being developed due to the request of the applicant to modify their project in response to community engagement and feedback.

“Finally, we are glad to support a supplemental EIS that protects Alaska’s environment and North Slope subsistence activities. The revised proposal diminishes impacts to the critically important whale hunts from Nuiqsut and other North Slope Inupiat communities by avoiding the use of a gravel-based loading facility in coastal waters. It also minimizes the need for, and use of, gravel on the Slope, further reducing the environmental footprint. This modification is a good outcome and will help inform future work under the cooperative regulatory relationship between the federal, state, and local governments,” they wrote.

By:  Dave Kovaleski
Source: Daily Energy Insider