Alaska lawmakers back Willow Project amid legal challenge and protests
The Alaska House of Representatives agreed by a vote of 34-4 Friday to join an amicus brief filed by the state's congressional delegation supporting the recently approved Willow Project.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
(The Center Square) - The Alaska House of Representatives agreed by a vote of 34-4 Friday to join an amicus brief filed by the state's congressional delegation supporting the recently approved Willow Project.
Environmental groups are challenging the project approved by Monday by the Biden administration. The Department of Interior approved three of the five drilling sites requested by ConocoPhillips, which owns the land in Alaska's North Slope.
Just two days after the decision, Earthjustice announced it was suing the Biden administration over its decision.
"The Biden administration's approval of ConocoPhillips' Willow project in the western Arctic of Alaska is a disappointing leap backwards," said Nicole Whittington-Evans, Defenders of Wildlife's Alaska program director, in a news release. "This would further imperil climate-sensitive wildlife including endangered polar bears, lock in oil and gas drilling and massive greenhouse gas emissions for decades, and offset the administration's priority to rein in climate change."
The House said in a news release, "It is time to put an end to the baseless lawsuits filed by extremist environmental groups, which only serve to impede progress and prevent Alaskans from reaping the benefits of the Willow Project."
"We are taking a stand for the people of Alaska and standing up to those who would stifle progress and deny them the opportunity to prosper., said House Speaker Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla. "By joining this amicus brief, we send a clear message that we will not be deterred by frivolous lawsuits and will continue to fight for the critical projects that will benefit Alaskans for decades to come."
The project could generate up to 180,000 barrels of oil a day and bring in $8 billion in tax revenue, according to information from Gov. Mike Dunleavy's office. About 2,500 jobs would be created during construction, with 300 permanent jobs expected once construction is complete.
ConocoPhillips is expected to begin work on gravel road construction, the company said in a news release.
Just News, No Noise
- J6 Unmasked: Security footage confirms Capitol door opened, allowing 300 to enter building freely
- GOP lawmaker excoriates Jan. 6 committee as new footage comes to light
- WATCH fateful moment senate door unlocks allowing hundreds in the Capitol on January 6th
- Biden bribery memo: Open investigation or game of keep away?
- Patrick Mahomes pulls Travis Kelce away from White House podium during Chiefs' visit