HJR 6: Supporting oil and gas leasing and development within the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska; and urging President Biden and the United States Department of the Interior to approve the Willow Master Development Plan.
00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 6 01 Supporting oil and gas leasing and development within the National Petroleum Reserve 02 in Alaska; and urging President Biden and the United States Department of the Interior 03 to approve the Willow Master Development Plan. 04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 WHEREAS, in 1923, President Warren G. Harding issued an Executive Order 06 establishing Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 4 on the North Slope region to provide a potential 07 supply of oil for the United States Navy; and 08 WHEREAS 42 U.S.C. 6501 (Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976) 09 redesignated Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 4 as the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska 10 and transferred responsibility for its administration to the Secretary of the Interior; and 11 WHEREAS the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska encompasses 23,500,000 12 acres, with boundaries extending south from Icy Cape to the drainage divide of the Brooks 13 Range, then following the divide eastward to 156 degrees west longitude, then north to the 14 Colville River, and following the Colville River downstream to its mouth; and 15 WHEREAS the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska falls entirely within the
01 boundary of the North Slope Borough and includes the communities of Anaktuvuk Pass, 02 Atqasuk, Nuiqsut, Utqiagvik, and Wainwright; and 03 WHEREAS, in 2017, the United States Geological Survey estimated there to be 04 8,700,000,000 barrels of recoverable oil and 25,000,000,000,000 cubic feet of recoverable gas 05 reserves in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska; and 06 WHEREAS the 2020 National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska Integrated Activity Plan 07 and Environmental Impact Statement estimates potential annual government revenue, 08 including local, state, and federal taxes and royalties, of $730,000,000 to $4,750,000,000 from 09 oil and gas development in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska; and 10 WHEREAS the 2020 National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska Integrated Activity Plan 11 and Environmental Impact Statement estimates that the exploration, development, and 12 production of oil and gas in the reserve could generate 3,600 direct jobs and 2,750 indirect 13 jobs annually over a period of 30 years; and 14 WHEREAS the Willow oil and gas prospect, known as the Willow project, is located 15 in the Bear Tooth Unit of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska and would be the 16 farthest-west producing field on the North Slope; and 17 WHEREAS the Willow project would tap into reserves of an estimated 600,000,000 18 barrels of oil and, at peak production, produce 180,000 barrels a day; and 19 WHEREAS the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Willow 20 Master Development Plan was developed over multiple years through a rigorous process with 21 significant involvement by and support from local communities and Alaska Native entities 22 and was specifically designed to protect surface values and the Inupiat way of life; and 23 WHEREAS, on February 1, 2023, the United States Department of the Interior 24 released its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Willow project, 25 which demonstrates that the project is legally sufficient and environmentally sound; and 26 WHEREAS the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, the Inupiat Community of the 27 Arctic Slope, the North Slope Borough, the Alaska Federation of Natives, the Alaska Native 28 Village Corporation Association, the ANCSA Regional Association, the City of Utqiagvik, 29 the City of Wainwright, the City of Atqasuk, and the Kuukpik Corporation are all united in 30 support of the Willow project; and 31 WHEREAS the Willow project has received the support of labor unions and trade
01 groups, including the Alaska Petroleum Joint Crafts Council, the Alaska Support Industry 02 Alliance, the Alaska AFL-CIO, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the Laborers' 03 International Union of North America, the National Association of Manufacturers, the North 04 America's Building Trades Unions, and the Alaska Chamber of Commerce; and 05 WHEREAS Representative Mary Peltola, Senator Lisa Murkowski, and Senator Dan 06 Sullivan, the Alaska delegation in Congress, unanimously support approval of the Willow 07 project; and 08 WHEREAS state royalties from oil and gas development in the National Petroleum 09 Reserve in Alaska are allocated to the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska Impact 10 Mitigation Fund, which is used to provide the local communities of Anaktuvuk Pass, Atqasuk, 11 Nuiqsut, Wainwright, Utqiagvik, and the North Slope Borough with grants to mitigate 12 impacts related to oil and gas development; and 13 WHEREAS oil and gas development in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska 14 would strengthen national security and provide long-lasting benefits to the national economy 15 by creating thousands of jobs nationwide, generating billions of dollars in government 16 revenue, providing affordable energy to American consumers, and decreasing dependence on 17 foreign energy; and 18 WHEREAS resource development in the state has benefited rural communities by 19 bringing family-supporting jobs and wages, increased educational opportunities, safe water 20 and wastewater facilities, and expanded health care services to those communities; and 21 WHEREAS, because of resource development, compared with the national average, 22 rural areas of the state experienced greater increases in life expectancy between 1980 and 23 2014 in locations where resource development activities, including oil and gas development, 24 mining, and fisheries operations, have occurred; and 25 WHEREAS safe and responsible oil and gas exploration, development, and 26 production has been demonstrated by over 50 years of activity on the North Slope region 27 without adverse effects on the environment or wildlife populations; 28 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States 29 Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, to maximize the area available for 30 oil and gas leasing and development within the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska while 31 conserving and protecting valued fish, wildlife, subsistence, and cultural resources; and be it
01 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges President Biden and 02 the United States Department of the Interior to move forward with final approval of the 03 Willow project by selecting the preferred Alternative E plan, which allows three drill sites, the 04 minimum for the project to remain economically viable; and be it 05 FURTHER RESOLVED that a further delay in approval or construction of the 06 Willow project undermines the values and benefits of the project to the state and its residents 07 and is not in the public interest; and be it 08 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States 09 Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, when considering management 10 activities related to the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, to take into account the long 11 history of safe and responsible oil and gas development on the North Slope region and the 12 enormous benefits that development of oil and gas resources in the National Petroleum 13 Reserve in Alaska would bring to local communities, tribal governments, the state, and the 14 nation. 15 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, President 16 of the United States; the Honorable Kamala D. Harris, Vice President of the United States and 17 President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Deb Haaland, United States Secretary of the 18 Interior; the Honorable Tracy Stone-Manning, Director, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. 19 Department of the Interior; Steve Cohn, Alaska State Director, Bureau of Land Management, 20 U.S. Department of the Interior; and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Dan 21 Sullivan, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Mary Peltola, U.S. Representative, members of 22 the Alaska delegation in Congress.