Murkowski: Obama’s Reversal on Atlantic OCS is Ominous Warning to Alaska

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today issued the following statement in response to the Department of the Interior’s 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Proposed Program.

“The administration’s decision to maintain a limited number of lease sales in the Alaskan offshore and recognition of the importance of consultation with Alaskans is welcome news. However, the administration’s decision to cancel a sale in the Atlantic offshore – the second time it has made such a reversal – undermines the energy security of our country and is an ominous warning to Alaskans. As easily as the Atlantic was taken off the table, the proposed sales in the Cook Inlet, Beaufort Sea, and the Chukchi Sea could suffer the same fate in further reviews. Simply put, we kept the bare minimum that we asked for last year – just three sales and additional consultations with Alaskans before any additional restrictions are considered. Now all Alaskans must rally to remain vigilant and defend this small victory. Further, we must continue our work to create a predictable regulatory and commercial environment as well as revenue sharing for the state and local interests.”

Murkowski, the chairman of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, sent a letter in 2015 to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management insisting that the Proposed Program include a minimum of three lease sales and no additional withdrawals be made without the overwhelming support of Alaskans.

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