Alaska Delegation Welcomes Ruling Upholding Willow Record of Decision
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski (both R-Alaska), and Representative Mary Sattler Peltola (D-Alaska), today welcomed a federal judge’s decision denying a preliminary injunction requested by Lower 48 environmental groups against Alaska’s Willow Project in the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska (NPR-A). The Willow Project was reapproved by the Biden administration on March 13 after years of litigation and environmental review, and following a united statewide push from Alaskans. On March 24, the Alaska congressional delegation submitted an amicus brief in the case that was joined by both bodies of the Alaska Legislature. The judge cited the delegation’s amicus, as well as the Alaska Legislature’s unanimous resolution in support of Willow, in today’s ruling against the injunction.
“The ruling on the Willow Project today is a critical win for Alaska’s prosperity and future,” said Sen. Sullivan. “It was heartening to see how much weight the court gave to both the congressional amicus brief, which I was honored to lead and which the Alaska Legislature joined, and the Alaska Legislature’s unanimous resolution in support of Willow, which I handed to President Biden recently in the Oval Office. The court said that this demonstration of unanimous support from Alaska’s elected officials ‘tips strongly against’ efforts by Lower 48 radical NGOs to halt the Willow Project. Today’s ruling will likely face further frivolous legal challenges by these same Lower 48 radical groups who want to impoverish our state and our citizens. But we are prepared to defend the court’s most recent decision, including before the Ninth Circuit, and the future prosperity of Alaska for as long as it takes. When Alaskans are united, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. I want to thank the thousands of Alaskans from all backgrounds and corners of the state, as well as members of the Alaska Legislature, who spoke up with one voice in support of this project. This made a consequential difference. In particular, this is a win for 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 in support of the Willow Project.”
“This is good news as ConocoPhillips is moving forward, putting Alaskans to work on Willow,” said Sen. Murkowski, “While it is unfortunate that a responsible development project is being forced to fight through litigation every step of the way, I appreciate the court’s quick ruling to deny a preliminary injunction and let the project continue.”
“I am grateful that the court has recognized the fact that Willow is a well-planned and beneficial project for Alaska and the nation, and that this most recent lawsuit should not be allowed to overrule the wishes of Alaskans and the President while it is being litigated,” said Rep. Peltola. “With this decision, the court acknowledges the years that the Willow Project has already spent under extensive litigation and environmental review, the approval of multiple levels of government, and the strong support for the project from the majority of affected Alaska Native groups. It’s finally time for Alaskans to get to work, and I look forward to seeing construction begin as we await the final resolution of this case.”