JUNEAU – Monday, the Alaska Senate unanimously passed House Joint Resolution 6, sponsored by Representative Josiah Patkotak (I-Utqiaġvik), urging President Biden and the United States Department of the Interior to approve the Willow Project by selecting the preferred Alternative E plan. This plan allows for three drilling sites, which helps the project remain profitable.
“For thousands of years, the Inupiat people have depended upon and protected the subsistence resources of the lands and waters of the North Slope for survival and cultural well-being,” said Senator Donny Olson (D-Golovin). “The scrutiny of development projects like Willow ensures safe animals, healthy people, and a pristine environment. This project is not only environmentally responsible but will help the economy of the North Slope communities for decades to come.”
The United States Geological Survey estimated the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska, where the Willow Project is located, contains 8.7 billion barrels of oil and 25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This has the potential to bring up to $4.7 billion in annual government revenue, including local, state, and federal taxes and royalties.
“This project creates thousands of high-quality jobs for Alaskans. This is not only an opportunity for our current workforce but provides the chance for Alaska to grow our next generation of oilfield workers,” said Senator Click Bishop (R-Fairbanks). “We need to take steps now to provide Alaskans with apprenticeship educational opportunities and liveable wages. Getting the Willow Project off the ground will provide that needed stability in our communities and workforce, now and in the future.”
“Since 1980, we have seen the quality of life on the North Slope and Northwest Alaska dramatically improve, and that is because of our responsible resource development,” said Senator Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage). “Our resource industries, whether it is fishing, mining, or oil production, bring wealth to local communities where they can invest in education, infrastructure, safe water, and job training while additionally providing family-supporting wages.”
On February 7, U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan delivered his annual address to the Alaska legislature, in which he heavily emphasized how support by the legislature helps the congressional delegation advocate for Alaska projects. He encouraged the legislature to pass a resolution supporting the project to show the federal government that Alaska is in support. Senator Lisa Murkowski and Congresswoman Mary Peltola have also advocated tirelessly for the Willow Project and continue to vocalize their unwavering support.
“I appreciate the Biden Administration showcasing their support of this project and helping it move forward,” said Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage). “This project has broad support from differing political ideologies, parties, industries, and groups throughout the state. We hope this additional push by the legislature will prevent further delays in getting this project up and running.”
This week, members from the Alaska Bush Caucus will deliver House Joint Resolution 6 to Alaska’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C.