A federal appeals court has given the go-ahead to ongoing exploration in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea, throwing out a frivolous lawsuit that had threatened to stop the project. The decision is the second this summer to rule in favor of offshore drilling and domestic energy independence, and underscores how efforts to reverse decades-long bans on production in some of the country’s oil-rich areas is certainly not a lost cause.
The latest appeals court ruling would seem to bode well for upcoming rulings over exploration on other parts of the Beaufort Sea and the Bering and Chukchi Seas, all which were approved by the Bush Administration but then stalled by lawsuits. As CEA recently noted, a robust Alaskan oil sector is critical not just to serving the nation’s energy needs but to preserving Alaska’s economy, through additional jobs and throughput on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. Back in July, an appeals court ruled that oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico could go forward as approved by the Bush Administration.
CEA is pleased that these high courts are striking down baseless objections to exploration and production in some of the country’s most promising sites. Although it is impossible to saw which way future rulings will go, there does appear to be a willingness to reconsider some past resistance, and take into account how much domestic oil stands to help the struggling domestic economy. There is a window of opportunity.
As we all await clarification on other the leases in Alaska, we urge everyone to keep the pressure on lawmakers to do the right thing. We refer you once again to the Call to Action on our Web site, which contains important information about the link between domestic energy production and national security and a strong economy.