WASHINGTON – Department of Interior Secretary David Bernhard today signed a record of decision allowing oil and gas leasing in a small part of the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve under stringent environmental regulations, fulfilling a Congressional mandate to secure U.S. energy supplies for the future and ensure that our natural resources keep benefiting our nation.
Consumer Energy Alliance’s federal affairs advisor Michael Zehr released the following statement:
“Interior Secretary Bernhardt’s actions today strike the right balance between our environmental and energy priorities, and it will benefit American families and small businesses by ensuring there is access to the oil and gas resources in the Reserve under stringent environmental protections and unprecedented limits on operations and siting. Congress in 2017 ordered the federal government to open the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas leasing. The fact that this action comes after nearly three years of careful scrutiny by the federal government, more than 30,000 hours of expert review and the consideration of more than 2 million comments submitted by the public is a testament to America’s environmental commitment.”
“Some 92% of the Reserve is closed to leasing, and under Congressional direction, the decision today grants the easements needed for successful energy production on only 2,000 of the area’s 19.3 million acres. That preserves an area roughly the size of South Carolina as wilderness.”
“Future exploration and production will produce work for the thousands of Alaskans in the energy industry, and help underpin a strong economy. Today’s action by the Administration is an important milestone, and hopefully a sign that approvals are forthcoming soon for other pending renewable and traditional energy projects or potential leases that can all lead to substantial economic activity, jobs and revenues.”
“Ensuring access to all of America’s natural resources is essential to keeping our energy reliable and affordable for our families, farmers and small businesses. Consumer Energy Alliance applauds the Adminstration for its commitment to environmental stewardship and enhanced access for oil and gas exploration, and Sens. Murkowski, Sullivan and Congressman Young for their support in advancing the legislation that made it possible.”
About Consumer Energy Alliance
Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is the leading consumer advocate for energy, bringing together families, farmers, small businesses, distributors, producers and manufacturers to support America’s environmentally sustainable energy future. With more than 550,000 members nationwide, our mission is to help ensure stable prices and energy security for households and businesses across the country. CEA works daily to encourage people across the nation to seek sensible, realistic and environmentally responsible solutions to meeting our energy needs.