Bipartisan Group of Legislators join fellow Alaskans in Urging President Obama to Approve Offshore Energy Production
Offshore development would create 55,000 new jobs nationwide, increase energy security
ANCHORAGE – In response to ongoing permitting delays for offshore oil and gas production Senators Mark Begich (D) and Lisa Murkowski (R) joined Congressman Don Young (R) and Governor Sean Parnell (R) as well as a group of 15 state elected officials and over 200 Alaskans in writing President Obama to compel him to move past administrative challenges and approve exploration and production activities in Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
The letter, sent earlier today, was signed by many influential Alaskans including members of the state’s U.S. congressional delegation, a group of 15 state elected officials, 45 business owners and community leaders and over 150 private citizens. This diverse group of signatories represents a large majority of Alaska’s workforce and is urging the President to approve OCS development in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, which could hold more than 27 billion barrels of oil. The letter highlights, among other things, that safely and responsibly developing this significant resource would boost Alaska’s economy while also reducing America’s dependence on foreign sources of oil.
In response, CEA-Alaska Chairman Jason Brune released the following statement:
“Alaska has long been a leader in energy production, and Alaskans know better than anyone the positive economic impacts that energy development can bring to our nation and its local communities. At the same time, we are well aware of the special and pristine quality of our state’s natural environment, and we categorically reject the false choice being levied by outside special interests that development must come at the expense of our unique natural habitats. Hard-working men and women in Alaska have proven for decades that oil and gas development can go hand in hand with environmental protection.
“Despite these facts, however, the federal government has repeatedly delayed the issuance of permits for responsible energy development in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The billions of barrels of crude oil that can be safely produced from these areas would significantly reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy while also helping to restore capacity to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). Production in these areas would create more than 55,000 new jobs and generate $193 billion in new government revenues at the local, state, and federal levels.
“Alaskans strongly believe that we should move forward with responsible development of our oil and gas resources, and it’s time for the federal government to listen to what the people of Alaska want.”
Signatories of the letter also include such noteworthy individuals as former Governor Bill Sheffield (D) and Speaker of the House Mike Chenault (R-District 34) among over 200 additional supporters. The letter can be found here or by visiting CEA’s website at www.consumerenergyalliance.org.