Murkowski Welcomes Efforts to Reduce Permitting Delays in Arctic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following comment regarding the Obama administration’s creation of an interagency working group on domestic energy production in Alaska:

“A broken federal permitting process has for years held up responsible development of our offshore oil and natural gas resources in Alaska. The administration’s decision to designate specific people at each agency to focus on the development of our Arctic resources represents a positive step forward in improving the federal permitting process for companies interested in investing in Alaska,” Murkowski said. “I will be watching this effort closely to ensure that it’s successful at closing what has been an endless loop of approvals, appeals and delays – delays caused by special interest groups opposed to improving our energy security and the jobs it would create.”

Interior Deputy Secretary David Hayes announced the creation of the working group on Tuesday at a Center for Strategic and International Studies’ conference on Arctic energy development. The group will include representatives from the departments of Interior, Defense, Commerce, Agriculture, Energy, Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska natural Gas Transportation Projects.

“My goal is to ensure Alaskans and the nation as a whole have the benefit of our Arctic energy resources,” Murkowski said. “I remain committed to working with this administration – and pressing them when necessary – to achieve that goal.”

Murkowski, the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has been an outspoken proponent for responsible development of Alaska’s Arctic oil and natural gas resources.