Senate Passes Legislation to Open Alaska’s 1002 Area

Reconciliation Bill Will Create Jobs, Generate Revenues, Refill TAPS

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Rep. Don Young, all R-Alaska, today released the following statements after the Senate passed H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which includes Murkowski’s title opening a small portion of the non-wilderness 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for responsible energy development.

“Tonight is a critical milestone in our efforts to secure Alaska’s future,” Murkowski said. “Opening the 1002 Area and tax reform both stand on their own, but combining them into the same bill, and then successfully passing that bill, makes this a great day to be an Alaskan. I thank all of the Senators who spent time learning about our opportunities and needs, and who joined us tonight in voting for Alaska. We are grateful for their support and eager to take the next steps for this pro-jobs, pro-growth, and pro-energy legislation.”

“Today’s historic vote is yet another milestone in bringing us that much closer to realizing a decades-long dream of opening the 1002 area of ANWR,” Sullivan said. “Although there is still work to be done, I’m optimistic we will succeed on the merits of our policy and the passion of our people. Allowing development in the coastal plain, an area specifically set aside for exploration and development, is a win for Alaska and a win for the nation. It will create thousands of good paying jobs, restore faith in our economy and drive investments in our communities. It will also help protect the global environment by producing energy at home using the most stringent of environmental standards, and will help strengthen our national security and foreign policy. Going forward, I will continue to work with Senator Murkowski and Congressman Young as a strong team for Alaska to at long last make this a reality for Alaska and the nation.”

“I applaud the Senate for passing this much-needed legislation to reform our tax code and unlock more of Alaska’s energy potential,” Young said. “Alaska is home to a vast amount of natural resources, and through the development of ANWR, we will strengthen our economy by creating new jobs and generating new revenue. I am proud of the work that has been done by our Senators to overcome complex parliamentary hurdles and retain this important language in the bill. As we move forward, particularly through the Conference Committee process, I will work with my House colleagues to ensure Alaska’s interests are protected and our energy sector continues to be a global leader. This is crucial for the economic growth of our state and nation, but also for countless families, communities and small businesses.” 

Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Title II of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was written by Murkowski, establishes an environmentally protective oil and gas development program in the non-wilderness 1002 Area, with two lease sales required over the next ten years. It was reported out of committee on a bipartisan basis on November 15, 2017. Murkowski and Sullivan both voted in support of the reconciliation bill.