From the Pebble Partnership:
The Pebble Partnership sent a letter to the Inspector General (IG) for the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers joining the call for a review of the USACE work on the Pebble Environmental Impact Statement but the company’s request is for vastly different reasons than those expressed by the House Oversight Committee.
“The work of the USACE on Pebble has been under assault since day one and it is time for this mischaracterization of their integrity to end. The best way to accomplish this is to have the USACE work on the Pebble Project reviewed by the Inspector General. We are confident the IG will find the allegations raised against the USACE to be completely baseless,” said Pebble CEO Tom Collier.
From the letter to the IG, the Pebble Partnership said it has responded consistently that:
• the Pebble EIS fully meets NEPA standards for scientific review of major development projects in the United States – in terms of process, scope and level of detail;
• the duration of the USACE’s NEPA review of the Pebble Project falls within a typical range for EIS processes undertaken for resource projects in Alaska and elsewhere in the U.S.;
• the permit application submitted to the USACE in December 2017 to initiate a federal NEPA review of the Pebble Project was accepted in January 2018 because it met all statutory requirements;
• the USACE has fully and appropriately recorded, addressed and responded to comments and concerns raised by cooperating agencies and stakeholders over the course of the Pebble EIS; and,
• EPA’s June 2019 action to withdraw its former Proposed Determination was undertaken to restore the proper statutory process for the Pebble EIS, not to provide any political benefit to Alaska or Pebble.
From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION PROCEEDS ON LARGE OIL PROJECT IN ALASKA: The Bureau of Land Management announced Thursday it is proceeding with a final environmental review for the Willow oil and gas project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
It will publish the review in the Federal Register today, which if approved would allow ConocoPhillips to pursue a multi-billion dollar project to produce 160,000 barrels per day of oil.
Of several alternatives BLM considered, its preferred option would allow up to five drill sites and associated processing and support facilities, including gravel roads and pipelines to provide access to leases for oil and gas development.
BLM said the project could create more than 1,000 jobs during peak construction with more than 400 jobs during operations. It would help offset declines in production from North Slope oil fields and “contribute to the local, state, and national economies,” BLM said.
Alaska Republicans led by Lisa Murkowski issued complimentary statements on BLM’s progress with the Willow project, saying it would help the state rebuild its economy from the pandemic.