A recent article from Inside Sources’ DC Journal illustrates how ConocoPhillips’ Willow Project, which was finally approved by the Biden administration this month, is not only a win for economic development, but also for our national security. While the project in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve ignited the usual debate—and outrage from climate activists—the need for securing our energy independence has never been more important.
The article notes the recent GAIN panel covering America’s energy crisis, involving Rep. Kelly Armstrong (At Large-ND), retired Maj. Gen. Spider Marks, Brigham McCown, and Patrice Douglas. Panel moderator and GAIN spokesman Craig Stevens said that the Willow Project’s approval will “help strengthen America’s global energy leadership at an ideal time – as our allies in Europe increasingly rely on U.S. energy.” This is in line with Marks’ panel comments, where he said, “If we are not energy independent, we become unreliable partners globally.”
Rep. Kelly Armstrong, Vice Chair of the House Energy committee, mentioned the South American country of Guyana, where he would be taking a trip in the coming weeks to discuss energy collaboration. Guyana is slated to become one of the wealthiest nations per capita due to an offshore energy discovery. Rep. Armstrong notes, “will U.S. companies be involved (in this production), or will we cede that area to the Chinese and Iranians?”
Retired Major General Spider Marks and GAIN spokesperson Craig Stevens both emphasized the impact of projects such as Willow on national security. Stevens highlighted the important timing of the announcement, noting that the Willow Project “will help strengthen America’s global energy leadership at an ideal time — as our allies in Europe increasingly rely on U.S. energy.”
During the webinar, Marks clearly laid out the reasons that a strong energy policy directly supports national security objectives, “If we are not energy independent, we become unreliable partners globally.” The example he gave supporting his point was South American energy development. “[If] you have a lack of U.S. influence in that part of the world. But you have no lack of interest from Russia or China. This is an area where the U.S. needs to be very active,” Marks said.