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Governor Parnell Welcomes Progress on CD-5

December 5, 2011, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell welcomed the news that the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have reached an agreement in principle with ConocoPhillips to construct a bridge across the Colville River for development in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska.

The State of Alaska has been instrumental in persuading federal agencies to reconsider the 2010 decision to deny a permit for this project. Governor Parnell and state agencies have submitted numerous letters and expert reports to federal agencies reviewing the project.

In its reports, the state demonstrated that the Army Corps of Engineers’ preferred alternative for the ConocoPhillips project – buried pipelines under the Colville River – was not the least environmentally damaging alternative.  

“We believe the state’s input and advocacy helped in achieving this positive outcome, and we will continue to monitor this project through the permitting process,” Governor Parnell said.

The agreement comes two days before the state and the Bureau of Land Management are to have simultaneous lease sales.

Wednesday’s sales now come with potentially fewer restrictions as the state works toward fulfilling a goal of increasing pipeline throughput to 1 million barrels a day.

“Each new field brought online gets us a step closer to energy independence and opportunities for Alaskans,” Governor Parnell said.

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