Delegation Welcomes Key Step for Coastal Plain Leasing Program
BLM Releases Final EIS for Oil and Gas Leasing Program
U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Rep. Don Young, all R-Alaska, today issued the following statements after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the oil and gas leasing program for the non-wilderness Coastal Plain (1002 Area) of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
“This is a major step forward in our decades-long efforts to allow for responsible resource development in Alaska’s 1002 Area, and I thank Secretary Bernhardt and his team for their thousands of hours of hard work,” Murkowski said. “I’m hopeful we can now move to a lease sale in the very near future, just as Congress intended, so that we can continue to strengthen our economy, our energy security, and our long-term prosperity.”
“For decades, Alaskans have been urging their federal government to open the 1002 Area of ANWR for exploration. At long last, Congress voted to allow it. Now, the administration is working diligently to fulfill Congress’s directions in a transparent and responsible process,” Sullivan said. “I welcome today’s announcement — another critical step in the process to unleash Alaska’s energy and economic potential. As Alaska has shown time and again, we can responsibly develop our resources, under the highest environmental standards, to grow our state and significantly contribute toward the goal of energy dominance for our country.”
“The release of this final EIS to open the 1002 Area of ANWR is the culmination of decades of work. I have fought for responsible oil and gas exploration on the Coastal Plain since ANWR was created, and I am immensely pleased that we have reached this stage. Alaskans are committed environmental stewards, and they know how to balance environmental protection and resource development — we did it in Prudhoe Bay and we’ll do it again in ANWR. I want to thank President Trump and his Administration, particularly Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, former Assistant Secretary Joe Balash, and Alaska BLM State Director Chad Padgett for their tireless work in completing this EIS and getting us closer to fully-realized resource development in the 1002 Area of ANWR,” Young said.
President Trump signed H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, in December 2017. The second title of the Act authorizes the surface development of 2,000 federal acres of the non-wilderness Coastal Plain for responsible energy development, which could bring an estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil to market. New production from the 1002 Area will refill the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System while also creating high-paying jobs, generating billions of dollars in revenues for the state and federal treasuries, keeping energy prices affordable for families and businesses, and strengthening national energy security.