Begich Comments on Judge’s Chukchi Sea Lease Ruling
U.S. Sen. Mark Begich released the following statement regarding yesterday's ruling by a federal court judge that the federal government failed to follow environmental laws before selling drilling rights to Shell in the Arctic waters of the Chukchi Sea:
"It's unfortunate so many decisions about resource development in Alaska get so polarized that they end up being decided by judges instead of through an open and balanced public process. Shell and other operators have invested significantly in our state and deserve clarity on how to move forward.
"The judge has sent this Chukchi case back to the federal agency charged with overseeing federal oil and gas leases, and I plan to meet soon with the director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement to explain how development can occur safely in Alaska's Arctic waters. I also look forward to showing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Alaska's state-of-the-art North Slope development on his planned visit to our state in the near future."