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Alaska Governor Parnell Lauds 9th Circuit Court Ruling on Beaufort Sea OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sale

Lease Sale Did Not Violate Environmental Laws

August 28, 2009, HOMER, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell welcomed the news that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Beaufort Sea 2007 oil and gas lease sale did not violate environmental laws. 

The decision means that Shell Alaska can continue with its plans to explore and develop its Beaufort Sea leases.

"This is good news for the State of Alaska," Governor Parnell said. "Outer Continental Shelf development is critical to the state's long-term economic future. The OCS offers the greatest opportunity for new oil discoveries in the Arctic, and barriers against exploration and development there continue to fall."

The decision comes on the heels of two favorable federal court decisions. 

The D.C. Circuit Court recently agreed with the state that oil companies should be allowed to continue with data-gathering activities for oil and gas development in the Chukchi Sea. Additionally, the U.S. District Court in Alaska granted the state's motion to intervene in a case in which the Native village of Point Hope and environmental groups seek to rescind dozens of leases issued by the federal government under an offshore oil and gas lease sale conducted for federal waters in the Chukchi Sea.

August 28, 2009

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