So Much Winning! Two Alaska Development Projects Move Forward

So Much Winning! Two Alaska Development Projects Move Forward

October 28, 2020

Alaskans who realize the importance of energy and resource development jobs to the state’s economy have had two reasons to celebrate in the past 24 hours, as Records of Decision (RODs) for two projects have been released, allowing for forward momentum to occur for both.

Yesterday, the ROD for the Willow oil and gas development project in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPRA) was published.  This project, which could one day push an additional 160,000 barrels of oil through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) and employ hundreds of Alaskans, is one of Alaska’s largest prospective fields.  The RoD allows ConocoPhillips to move forward in its plans to fully develop its prospect.

The Alaska Congressional delegation released a congratulatory statement, with each of Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young expressing their enthusiasm for the project’s potential impacts on employment, state and federal revenues and the momentum for recovery from the economic downturns of 2020.  Per the press release, the NPR-A is administered by BLM and covers more than 23 million acres on the western North Slope of Alaska—an area roughly the size of Indiana. In 2017, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that NPR-A contains an estimated 8.7 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil. 

Then, this morning, the ROD for regulations that would lead to exempting a small portion of the Tongass from the ill-conceived “Roadless Rule” was published.  With Southeast Alaska’s timber economy having been nearly gutted by the regulatory impacts brought about by extremist environmentalists and willing bureaucrats during the Clinton and Obama administrations, the chance to rekindle this industry is fantastic news to those families who want to be able to work, live and play on the Southeast panhandle. 

Of course, both decisions were immediately slammed by the eco-Left, but with their “wildlife-above-human-life” philosophies, who could expect anything else?

Once again, the Trump administration’s leadership in breaking through needless regulatory hurdles, balancing environmental stewardship with responsible development, and working for all Americans, and not a single interest group is clearly on display with these Records of Decision.  We look forward to hearing more about each project as they move forward.