Alaska Delegation Asks For Meeting With Obama To Discuss Arctic Management

WASHINGTON, DC – The Alaska Congressional Delegation today asked for a meeting with President Obama to discuss Alaska’s management of the Arctic.
In a letter (attached) 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 and offshore.
“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.”