Sen. Murkowski Comments on Interior’s Draft Arctic Regulations

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today issued the following statement on the Department of the Interior’s new draft regulations for oil and natural gas activities in Alaska’s Chukchi and Beaufort seas:

“We’re still reviewing the draft regulations released today to see what impact they could have on the economic development of our vast Arctic resources. Responsible development of our Arctic resources is important the economic future of both Alaska and the nation as a whole. Given the opposition this administration has shown so far to responsible resource development, I’m reserving judgment until it’s demonstrated that these regulations will not unnecessarily block investment,” Murkowski said.

“If this administration is truly committed to developing our Arctic resources then it’s imperative that the Interior Department provide clear direction to Shell and the other leaseholders in the region on how they can proceed,” Murkowski said. “It’s important that any changes to existing regulations covering the Chukchi and Beaufort seas allow companies the flexibility to respond to changing conditions and for the deployment of new drilling technologies.”

Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas contain an estimated 23.6 billion barrels of oil and 104.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Dozens of wells have been safely drilled in these areas since the 1970s. Interior estimates its new proposed regulations will add up to $1.4 billion over 10 years to the cost of development.