Begich Statement on Shell Suspension of 2014 Drilling Activities
Begich Says Judicial Overreach “Unacceptable”
U.S. Senator Mark Begich released the statement below following an announcement from Shell Oil that they will suspend drilling activities in the Chukchi Sea for the summer of 2014 due to legal issues:
“It is simply unacceptable that judicial overreach is getting in the way of letting Alaskans develop our own natural resources. Development in the Arctic has already been subjected to unprecedented safety standards – far more than domestic production anywhere else. I've worked for years to get all the federal agencies working together to permit Arctic projects, now we need to tackle the all too common legal stonewalling by outside groups. That's why I am re-introducing my legislation to ensure there is a judicial endgame for Arctic developers when they have invested billions of dollars in developing our resources.
“ I’ll be talking with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today and expect her agency to move quickly to address the court's questions and concerns and do everything possible to get this process back on track. Alaskans know that energy development brings not only our energy security but also our financial security, and no one knows about safe, responsible development like Alaskans do.
“As Shell suggested in its announcement this morning, this a temporary setback and I believe the prospects for Arctic development remain strong. I’m confident that this project will move forward.”