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Begich Praises Another Chukchi Exploration Milestone

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich issued the following written statement and video statement in response to the approval of Shell’s Oil Spill Response Plan (OSPR) in the Chukchi Sea by the Department of the Interior.

“After three years of hard work with federal agencies, we have cleared another hurdle toward oil and gas development in Alaska this summer,” Begich said.  “In addition to the good news for Alaska jobs, this announcement includes a series of steps showing the federal government is preparing for short-term emergency response as well as long-term science to facilitate responsible development of Arctic resources.”

“Both Admiral Tom Ostebo and Director James Watson briefed me last week on what the Coast Guard and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement are doing to keep workers safe and protect our fish and wildlife.  Alaskans should be assured the federal government is taking this seriously and has plans in place.”

Secretary Salazar’s lengthy announcement noted approval of Shell’s Chukchi OSRP;  highlighted the preparation the US Coast Guard and other agencies are undertaking to support Arctic exploration; underscored recent cooperative agreements to share real time data to track marine mammal movements and weather and ice forecasts; and highlighted a landscape wide look at science and managing natural resources across federal lands and waters in the Arctic.

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