September 09, 2010
Photo courtesy Office of the Governor
"Development of Alaska's OCS resources is of critical importance to Alaska's future and the economic and security interests of the United States," Governor Parnell said. "We are taking this action to ensure that the federal government abides by applicable federal law, including its legal responsibility to make the OCS available for expeditious and orderly development."
"Federal law requires consultation with affected states and a consideration of how an agency action will impact the economy," Attorney General Dan Sullivan said. "Here the Department of the Interior did not take these steps before it issued the moratorium. Moreover, the Department of the Interior acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it failed to issue a written decision explaining the grounds for or the very fact of - the Alaska OCS moratorium. We are therefore seeking to overturn the moratorium on drilling in Alaska because the Obama administration's actions violated federal law and have harmed Alaska and its citizens."
U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) supports the Governor's efforts to end the OCS moratorium. In a prepared statement Begich said, "As a strong advocate for the responsible development of Alaska's OCS resources in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, I will always work with Governor Parnell and Alaskans to set the federal government straight. It is my belief that the federal government should remove the moratorium on developing these resources."
Begich said, "I agree with the Governor's message that an overreaching ban does not reflect Alaska's unique conditions and fails to consider the impact on Alaska jobs and the Alaska economy. I will continue to work with the Governor, the State, and affected Alaskans to ensure a future for Alaska's oil and gas."
"The lack of consultation with Alaska in this process is an obvious oversight," said Senator Begich. "I will continue to fight for the voices of Alaskans to be heard. The ban fails to recognize the strict standards and practices in Alaska and the clear difference between high pressure deepwater exploration and Alaska's shallow water exploration."
Recently, Governor Sean Parnell advocated for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement to process permits to allow offshore drilling in Alaska waters.
Over the past year, the state has been actively involved in litigation against environmental groups' efforts to shut down OCS development off Alaska's coasts. The focus of this litigation has been to ensure that Alaska's OCS resources are responsibly developed. Recently, the state litigated a case in U.S. District Court in Alaska aimed at narrowing, and ultimately removing, the court's injunction against exploration activities on oil and gas leases in the Chukchi Sea. The state was successful in its goal of significantly narrowing the court's original injunction.
On the Web
Sources of News:
Publish A Letter in SitNews Read Letters/Opinions