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Governor Parnell Disappointed with Move to Block Drilling

December 15, 2009, Anchorage, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell expressed his disappointment at the news that a coalition of environmental groups has sued the U.S. Department of the Interior to block oil and gas drilling next year in the Beaufort Sea. The governor has directed his attorney general to review the complaint and determine what role the state can play in fighting this litigation.

"Responsible resource development can take place in the Arctic, and lawsuits such as these stand in the way of economic progress and are a threat to our state," Governor Parnell said. "We will continue to work with operators, agencies and North Slope residents to ensure that all exploration and development in the Outer Continental Shelf are conducted in a safe and environmentally responsible fashion. We are committed to work cooperatively with Mayor Edward Itta to address issues of concern regarding development of Alaska's OCS."

Alaska's Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) contains an estimated 27 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 130 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas.

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