Sen. Murkowski Welcomes Conditional Approval of Beaufort Sea Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today commended the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) for issuing conditional approval of Shell’s revised exploration plan for the Beaufort Sea.

“Shell has been working to secure approval of this plan for over five years,” Murkowski said. “This is another positive step forward, and I’m hopeful that they will soon be able to move forward with exploration and production in the Beaufort.”

“If this plan is allowed to advance this time, it could help address many of our most pressing challenges, creating tens of thousands of new jobs, generating hundreds of billions of dollars in new tax revenues, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and improving our trade balance,” Murkowski said.

The project will still need approvals from the Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as additional drilling permits from the Interior Department. Shell began seeking approval for their energy projects in the Beaufort Sea in 2005. They are still awaiting approval for their Chukchi exploration plans.