Alaska Delegation Asks For
Meeting With Obama To Discuss Arctic Management
March 25, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC The Alaska Congressional Delegation on Tuesday
asked for a meeting with President Barack Obama to discuss Alaska's
management of the Arctic.
In a letter to Obama, the delegation urged the President not
to take any "rash actions" regarding Arctic policy,
saying that such a move could harm the nation's economic recovery
as well as efforts to increase the nation's energy independence.
"The Alaska delegation has taken the lead in protecting
the Arctic and promoting conservation efforts using the best
available science," according to the letter. "Far too
often, though, talk of implementing 'science-based precautionary
management' in the Arctic is in reality simply code for ignoring
the scientific evidence, shortchanging the process and trying
to stop all commercial activity in the region."
Pointing to oil and gas development and climate change in the
Arctic, nearly 70 House Democrats have signed a letter to Obama
urging him to implement 'science-based precautionary management'
in the region. The lawmakers identified three areas of concern
the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. They have called
for taking ANWR production permanently off the table and suspending
all new oil and gas exploration and development, both onshore
"These recommendations would hang a 'closed for business'
sign around Alaska," Sen. Lisa Murkowski said. "It's
important that President Obama hear from the people who know
Alaska best those who live and work there."
"America is an Arctic nation only because of Alaska, and
Alaskans are experiencing the impacts of global climate change
every day," said Sen. Mark Begich. "Development in
the Arctic needs to be careful using the best technology and
Alaskans have proven for years they know how to do development
right. I'll continue working with the Obama administration and
my colleagues in the Congress to educate them about the unique
challenges and opportunities in the 49th state."
"The powerful, radical environmentalist minority has once
again led a group of well meaning Congressmen to propose policies
that can best be described as lunacy," said Rep. Don Young.
"Instead of stopping at just opposing oil and gas development
in the Arctic, the signatories of this letter advocate for the
immediate halting of ALL new industrial activities including
'industrial shipping, oil and gas development, and commercial
fishing.' What these individuals fail to realize is that Alaskans
call these places home, and the Arctic is more than a playground
for rich environmentalists. Who decides what an industrial activity
is? Is building a new school in Barrow a 'new industrial activity'?
There is a difference between responsible and irresponsible Arctic
policy, and sadly, this falls as an example of the latter."
Delegation Letter to Obama
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