Sen. Murkowski Comments on Shell’s Decision on Arctic Drilling in 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today issued the following statement on Shell’s announcement that it is canceling plans to drill for oil in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea this summer.

“I am disappointed that Shell will not be able to move forward with exploration this summer, but am not surprised given the 9th Circuit’s decision and the administration’s failure to provide regulatory and permitting certainty for oil development in the Arctic. We can’t expect Shell to continue to spend billions of dollars on this project when the rules keep changing.

“Just this week, the president claimed that he was committed to an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy plan, but clearly that is not the case in Alaska. The fact is that all of the increase in oil production the president touts has come from state and private lands – not on federal lands, and certainly not from Alaska. Instead of taking credit that he does not deserve, the president should be fixing the very real problems he has created in our state.    

“Companies willing to invest billions of dollars to develop our country’s resources must have confidence that the federal agencies responsible for overseeing their efforts are competent and working in good faith. I’m not convinced that has been the case for Alaska.

“I expect the administration to work quickly to address the deficiencies identified by the court in its analysis of lease sale 193. And, beyond that, I expect the president to demonstrate his unequivocal support for development in the Arctic. Our offshore resources are one of our greatest opportunities to improve America’s energy security, generate new revenue without raising taxes, create thousands of jobs across the country, and keep the trans-Alaska oil pipeline operational.”

Alaska’s Arctic offshore is estimated to contain 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Shell has so far invested close to $6 billion to develop its leases in Alaska’s Arctic, including more than $2 billion for the leases.

Murkowski is Alaska’s senior senator and the ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.