Murkowski Underscores Strong Support for Willow Project, Calls on Administration to Select Alternative E

“Keep in your mind and heart the people who the Willow Project will most benefit”

With less than 30 days before the administration makes a final decision that will dictate the survival of the ConocoPhillips’ Willow Project on Alaska’s North Slope, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) underscored her strong support for the environmentally-just project that will protect national energy security, support Alaska Native communities and the entire state of Alaska, and improve the livelihoods and life expectancy of Alaska Natives.  


Click here for video of Senator Murkowski’s floor statement in support of the Willow Project.



  • “What I hope to do, along with my colleague, Senator Sullivan is to further educate members of the Senate and really people around the country about this project by explaining how it will help to benefit the nearly 11,000 Alaska Native people and residents who call the North Slope home, how it will support good paying union jobs, how it will reduce our energy imports from quite honestly some of the worst regimes in the world and why its approval is both necessary and prudent.”


  • “The footprint for Willow is miniscule. It has been meticulously planned to coexist with the wildlife, with the tundra, with the subsistence lifestyle on the North Slope. Think about it. You would not have had the two whaling captains that were wandering the halls this week—two whaling captains from the North Slope who are advocating for development of Willow—if they felt that this was going to be harmful to their subsistence activity, or to the subsistence caribou.”


  • “It's extraordinary how the quality of life has advanced since the days of revenue coming from our oil. A recent study really brings it home. It's not just about infrastructure that brings clean water or heat to your home, but it's what happens to the health and well-being, when you have improved infrastructure, when you have sanitation systems, when you have medical care that these revenues have helped to facilitate—people are healthier, people live long longer. There is an increased life expectancy among Alaska Natives who live on the North Slope.”


  • “It's projected to create an estimated 2,500 construction jobs. Seventy-five percent of them will be filled by union labor. So, unions are supportive of this. Once complete, it will support 300 permanent jobs, which then in turn spins off thousands more across the state and across the country.”


  • “I ask, as we're looking at this particular project, keep in mind, keep in your heart, the people for whom it will most benefit. But don't forget the rest of Alaska, the country as a whole. They're also going to benefit.”


  • “So, the choice here is not whether we need to continue to develop our oil resources. We do. We clearly do. The choice is where the source is going to come from. We're going to need it for decades to come and I will tell you, I'm going to choose Alaska anytime over foreign sources. I'll choose Alaska because we have a better environmental track record, because development there benefits our people there. And it ultimately makes it a little easier to address climate. So you can oppose production on the North Slope, you can impoverish Alaska Natives and blame them for changes in the climate that they did not cause. But can you really feel good about that given the autocrats that you're going to empower around the world and the harm and the devastation that comes? We’ve got a better answer.”


  • “So instead of importing from places with no environmental standards to speak, we should be confident that the energy that we need is coming from a project with a tiny footprint that is safely operated with as little impact as humanly possible and we can ensure that the benefits of production go to the Alaska Natives of the North Slope and the communities around the state and around the country, rather than petrocrats like Vladimir Putin.”


  • “I urge the Biden administration in the strongest possible terms to listen to all the support for this important project. And I urge them to reject the false and misguided claims about impacts coming from some.  I would urge them to issue a record of decision early next month—selecting alternative E without new limits or extraneous conditions.”