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Begich Reacts to President’s Address on Gulf Disaster


U.S. Sen. Mark Begich issued the following statement in response to President Obama's address to the nation on the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster:

"President Obama tonight detailed the aggressive steps the federal government is taking to deal with this Gulf tragedy. I endorse his proposal for an independent account in which BP sets aside money to pay for spill damages and compensation to those affected. Later this week, I'll be introducing legislation to do exactly that. I also welcome the appointment of Fran Ulmer to the President's oil spill commission, to get to the bottom of what happened in the Gulf and how we can prevent it from happening again.

"While I support the transition to new energy sources, I was disappointed by the President's claim that America is running out of places to explore for oil and gas. In fact, Alaska has three prime spots: the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the enormous oil and gas reserves offshore Alaska's Arctic coasts. Developing these areas should be part of a comprehensive national energy policy, as Alaska continues its role as the nation's energy storehouse. Congress needs to act on comprehensive energy legislation this year.

"I'll continue to work with other members of Congress and the Obama administration to push my proposals for preventing future disasters like the Gulf spill and for safely developing more of America's energy within American borders."

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