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Governor Parnell Issues Statement on EPA Air Permits

July 1, 2011, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell issued the following statement on the federal Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) issuance of draft air quality permits for Shell Oil's Beaufort Sea exploratory drilling operation.

"My administration welcomes the reissuing of air quality permits by the EPA. We're cautiously optimistic that after years of effort, the EPA has finally issued air permits that will hold up to the legal challenges of the national environmental organizations. With billions of barrels of oil available in the Alaska OCS for domestic production, thousands of family wage supporting jobs, and economic development for communities, Alaska is ready to help lead the nation toward economic stability. Our goal remains to gain greater energy independence, and to restore the flow through the Trans Alaska Pipeline to one million barrels per day. We believe bringing Beaufort Sea oil to market is in the best interest of our state and nation."

The permits now enter a 30-day public comment period, and there are other regulatory hurdles for Shell, such as obtaining approval from the Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management, Regulation and Enforcement. Shell purchased the leases in the Beaufort Sea in 2005.

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