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Governor Comments on President’s OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Plan

March 31, 2010, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell expressed concern with the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas leasing plan that was released today by President Obama.

"Although the plan calls for expanded leasing in the Lower 48 offshore areas, uncertainty remains about the future of OCS leasing in Alaska, particularly in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas during the 2012-to-2017 leasing period," Governor Parnell said. "Few areas of the United States possess the potential of Alaska's northern OCS areas: an estimated 25 billion barrels of oil and 120 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

"By not maintaining a predictable lease program in the Alaska OCS, 35,000 job opportunities are still unavailable to Alaskans, the cost of energy will go up, and the U.S. will continue to depend on imported oil. At a time when the U.S. economy is weak, we need high-paying jobs associated with the development and use of domestic petroleum and the increased energy security that come from Alaska production."

Governor Parnell has consistently emphasized the importance of OCS oil and gas development to Alaska and the nation. The governor also has argued for OCS revenue sharing so that coastal states and localities can share in the wealth that would be created by further development. He has directed the Department of Law to intervene in pending litigation challenging certain OCS sales in Alaska.

There will be a 30-day period for public comment on the proposed five-year schedules, during which the governor will file strong comments on behalf of Alaska.

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