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Alaska House Opposes Federal Overreach on ANWR

(ANCHORAGE) – The Alaska House of Representatives today voted 36-1 in favor of House Joint Resolution 11, stating the legislature’s steadfast opposition to declaring Area 10-02 of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness. Rep. Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage, sponsored the resolution.

“Alaska’s natural resource based economy is under siege by the federal government, there is really no other way to describe it,” said Millett. “Mining, oil exploration in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, and now ANWR are all in jeopardy of being derailed. Without those future developments Alaska’s economy 10 to 20 years from now will be in big trouble”

Energy security equals national security. The 2,000 acres of ANWR set aside for oil exploration is estimated to hold 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil. That will reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil from country’s hostile to the United States. That also equals new jobs, revenue for the state and increases the lifespan of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently reviewing ANWR’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan and it may recommend a wilderness designation on the coastal plain.  The draft plan is due out sometime in March.

This is another backdoor approach to designating wilderness status on the 10-02 Area. We need to be diligent to opposing all efforts to designate more wilderness areas in Alaska.  By law, only the U.S. Congress can create additional wilderness areas in ANWR.

A copy of the resolution is included with this news release. HJR 11 now moves over to the Alaska Senate for its consideration.

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