Governor Parnell Issues Statement on Shell Drilling Decision
February 3, 2011, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell today issued the following statement about Shell's decision to push back offshore drilling in Alaska until after 2011.
"This is just another delay resulting from the federal government dragging its feet, killing jobs and making us even more reliant on oil from the Middle East and elsewhere," Governor Parnell said. "As we can see in Egypt, the situation is very unstable. We have plenty of domestic oil, and there is no reason that a company that has received over 34 permits for this program can't get a timely decision from EPA on air quality issues.
"It is unfathomable that a company can buy federal leases but can't get onto them within five years. It's also unfathomable that they cannot get an air permit after five years when they can get one in the Gulf of Mexico within months. And finally, it's unfathomable that this federal administration can't act on the opportunity for jobs and economic growth."
In December, the Environmental Appeals Board remanded key air permits for Shell's offshore oil and gas exploration activities back to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for further work.