Murkowski: Willow Project Reapproval “Significant for Alaska”

Following the Biden administration’s decision to reapprove ConocoPhillips’ Willow Project in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve (NPR-A), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) spoke on the Senate Floor to mark the significant announcement.


Click here for a video of Senator Murkowski speaking on the Senate Floor marking the reapproval of the Willow Project.



·        [The Willow Project] is significant for Alaska. From a job perspective, this is going to create about 2,500 jobs for a state that desperately needs that. This will be revenue and income to a state that desperately needs it. Our economy is still suffering in a post pandemic world. Our economy feels challenged in many ways. We're seeing a net outmigration, unlike any state in the country, and it is because it's directly tied to the state of our economy.


·        Willow represents economic security. It represents energy security, and it represents national security.


·        It was a pretty incredible effort that came together to advance the cause of this…It was an extraordinary coalition of Alaska Native leaders and individuals. It was an extraordinary coalition of labor leaders, not only in the state. 100% of the labor unions in Alaska support advancing Willow, backed by their national unions back here, because they know that these will be good paying jobs. These will be solid union jobs, these will be jobs for the future. It was backed by a coalition of industry leaders, the university, resolutions out of both houses of our state legislature.


·        It was so important that the voices of Alaskans, particularly those who live and work and raise their families on the North Slope, that those voices were heard. And what we heard from those who are from the North Slope region, are that this is not only jobs and economic opportunity, these are resources that will help us with our quality of life.


·        The administration listened [to Alaskan voices], and I thanked them for that. I thank them for allowing those voices to be heard.


·        It's important to applaud the actions of the administration and the President in advancing this. At peak production, Willow is expected to bring on about 180,000 barrels of oil a day. That's significant, Mr. President.


·        It's significant and worth putting into context with where the United States has had to turn recently...The willingness to go to Venezuela, to lift sanctions to ask for more production out of Venezuela. Venezuela will be providing us about 100,000 barrels a day. Think about where we would be if Alaska's Willow opportunity were already online. We would not have had to go to Maduro. We would not have had to go to a country whose environmental track record is abysmal.


·        We should be producing where we know we can do it safely, where it's under tight environmental conditions and restrictions and limitations, where the producers will adhere to the rules of the road, the rule of law, that there is a sensitivity to the environment around there. As we operate up north—they say that we have some of the tightest environmental conditions on how we access our resources of the northern region than anywhere—not only in the country, but in the world.


·        People who live up there are the first stewards of the land and they get it. So, when you have whaling captains, who are standing shoulder to shoulder with the Alaska Delegation in front of the Capitol Building, standing there saying: “We need Willow. We need Willow for our economy. We need Willow for our people. We will make sure we will meet the subsistence needs of those who live in the area. We will make sure that the environmental considerations are met. We are ready to proceed.”


·        I'm regretful that I think the next phase of this is not necessarily going to be movement towards gaining production. It's going to be movement towards the courts. Because that's just what seems to happen in every development project in my incredible state. But we are prepared for that as well.


·        This project is environmentally sound. It is just, it is fair. It is balanced, and it is time. So, again, I stand here appreciative that the administration has heard the voice of Alaskans. Now let's get to work. 

Murkowski: Willow Project Reapproval “Significant for Alaska”