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Sen. Murkowski Comments on 2012-2017 Offshore Leasing Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today made the following comment on Interior’s five-year offshore oil and natural gas leasing program for 2012-2017:

“The leasing plan released today falls far short of what’s needed to get America’s faltering economy back on track. It removes nearly 90 percent of the acreage previously available for energy exploration.

“While it offers the possibility of two lease sales in the Arctic, it substantially delays them and raises the possibility that they might not happen at all. The final plan unilaterally takes millions of acres in the Arctic off the table, in the form of buffer zones and so-called ‘study areas.’

“The administration also continues to ignore calls for lease sales off the coast of states such as Virginia and South Carolina, despite strong support from those states.

“While the administration resists opening any new acreage, nearly every country bordering our waters is showing no such hesitation. Cuba, Mexico, the Bahamas, Canada and Russia are all moving ahead. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and put Americans back to work producing the energy we need to be competitive. Hesitation and delay will not right our economy.”

In November, Murkowski wrote about America’s failure to keep up with development on its borders in The Wall Street Journal.

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