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Begich Applauds Progress on CD-5

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich released the following statement today after the Department of Interior (DOI) announced the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Environmental Protection Agency have reached an agreement in principle with ConocoPhillips regarding the company’s proposed Alpine Satellite Development Plan (CD-5) in the National Petroleum Reserve –Alaska (NPRA).

According to the DOI, the agreement in principle confirms construction of a pipeline and bridge over the Colville River will move forward:

“This is a great way to ring in the holiday season at a time when Alaska’s oil and gas industry needs to hear some good news on the development front.

“It’s been a long and sometimes frustrating process to get to this decision. I commend ConocoPhillips and the Interior Department for sticking with it. This foothold into the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska will bring new jobs and millions of barrels of oil to help fill the pipeline.”

From day one in the Senate, Sen. Begich has pushed the Obama Administration to grant ConocoPhillips the permit for the CD-5 project, including trips to the field by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Army Corps of Engineers Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy. This summer, Begich brought Darcy to Alaska and highlighted the importance of CD-5 at a roundtable meeting in Fairbanks. Other steps over the past three years include:

  • June 18, 2009 Begich calls for resolution of development in NPRA at speech before the American Petroleum Institute;
  • April 2009 trip with Secretary Ken Salazar to Alaska to review Alaska oil and gas development opportunities;
  • November 2009 meeting with Secretary Salazar and energy policy advisor Carol Browner to discuss CD-5;
  • February 2010 statement criticizing Army Corps decision to deny CD-5 permit;
  • March 17, 2010 statement on Army Corps refusal to reopen permit decision;
  • July 15, 2010 letter to President Obama urging approval of CD-5 permit;
  • July 26, 2010 meeting with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson in Anchorage pushing for resolution of CD-5 permit;
  • December 10, 2010 letter to Secretary Salazar, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Army Corps Assistant Secretary Darcy expressing great concern about status of CD-5 permit;
  • March 30, 2011 Begich calls on President Obama to act on key permits in NPRA;
  • July 12, 2011 President Obama signed Executive Order creating Interagency Working Group on Domestic Energy Development and Permitting in Alaska spurred by Begich bill S. 843 calling for better agency coordination;
  • August 2011 roundtable meeting with Secretary Ken Salazar and industry leaders to act on Arctic oil and gas development;
  • August 2011 meeting with DOI Deputy Secretary David Hayes in Anchorage to push for CD-5 permit approval without any further delay; and
  • September 22, 2011 call with EPA Administrator Jackson to push for EPA approval of permit.

Since coming into office in January 2009, Sen. Begich has pushed the Obama Administration to expand development options in Alaska’s Arctic. Due largely to Begich’s efforts, we are also looking at pending exploration and development in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.

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