Murkowski, Sullivan, Peltola Urge BLM to Re-Approve Willow Project By Year’s End
Delegation Highlights Project’s High Environmental Standards, Benefits to U.S. Energy Security
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (both R-Alaska), and Representative Mary Sattler Peltola (D-Alaska), today sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland urging the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to complete the permitting process for the Willow Project in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) by the end of the year, in time for the winter construction season. In their letter, the Alaska congressional 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, legislators 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).”
Click here to read the full letter.
- In July 2022, BLM Alaska issued a draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for the Willow Project.
- On July 15, 2022, Senators Murkowski and Sullivan wrote a letter to Secretary Haaland reiterating their strong support of the Willow Project and urging the Department of the Interior to promptly approve it.
- On March 8, 2022, Senators Murkowski and Sullivan and the late Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska) wrote a letter to Secretary Haaland urging the Department of the Interior to expeditiously complete an SEIS and re-approve the Willow Project.
- On May 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a brief with the U.S. District Court for Alaska defending the Willow Project. After reviewing the final ROD for the Willow Master Development Plan (MDP), approved in October 2020 by the Trump administration, for consistency with the Biden administration’s initial executive orders on addressing climate change, the administration found the ROD legally sufficient. The filing followed weeks of advocacy and outreach by the Alaska delegation to President Biden and his administration.
- On April 26, 2021, the municipal mayors of Utqiagvik, Wainwright, and Atqasuk—three communities located within the boundaries of NPR-A—wrote to Secretary Haaland asking her to allow the Willow MDP to move forward.
- On April 21, 2021, George Edwardson, president of the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope, wrote to Secretary Haaland in support of the Willow MPD.
- On April 15, 2021, North Slope Borough Mayor Harry Brower, Jr. and Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige wrote to Secretary Haaland urging her to allow responsible oil and gas development on federal lands in Alaska to proceed.
- On February 13, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals extended a District Court injunction of the Willow MPD, pending appeal.
- On February 1, 2021, the U.S. District Court for Alaska issued an injunction on the Willow MPD.
- On October 27, 2020, BLM issued the ROD for the Willow MPD.
- On August 14, 2020, BLM published the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Willow MPD.