The Alaska economy isn’t only Sen. Dan Sullivan’s number one priority.
It’s at the top of most Alaskans’ list.
A vibrant economy serves all Alaskans well.
Sen. Sullivan addressed the 33rd session of the Alaska Legislature this week, discussing a variety of topics of import in the state — infrastructure, tourism, fisheries, and the military, which given the behavior of late of the superpowers China and Russia, belongs on the list.
But, specifically to the Willow oil development project in the Arctic near Nuiqsut, Sullivan asked Alaskans to push hard in lobbying efforts.
If the state is to see the project proceed, then supportive Alaskans will have to speak up. The project’s opponents certainly will.
And this is a project that affects all Alaskans, even the ones in the most southern region of the state. Ketchikan. Craig. Klawock. You name the community.
The project’s success is as relevant to Alaska as this region’s tourism and fishing.
So, if it will help another Alaska community, then Southeast Alaskans should lend a hand — perhaps with a pen in it.
“With the Willow Project, which just received its final (environmental impact statement) last week, and the Pikka Project, just those two projects,” Sullivan told the Legislature, “we could literally be looking at over $10 billion … in private sector investment on the North Slope, over 3,000 construction jobs, peak production of these two projects at over 250,000 barrels a day, and billions and billions in revenues for our federal government, our state government, the North Slope Borough and communities throughout our state.
“This is not some pie in the sky dream,” he concluded. “This is on the cusp of happening right now.”
U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will make the final decision on the Willow project. That decision isn’t expected before March.
All of Alaska’s congressional delegation favors the project and has been meeting Biden administration officials to lobby for the project.
Alaskans should lobby, as well. While efforts are being made to move away from fossil fuels, the alternatives won’t be realized for decades. In the meantime, the nation needs those fuels and Alaska, including the Southeast region, needs the revenue.