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Begich Responds to President’s Energy Speech

U.S. Senator Mark Begich issued the following statement after President Obama today delivered a speech on securing America's energy future at Georgetown University. In the speech, President Obama announced an intent to increase domestic production of oil and natural gas to help reduce the amount of oil the United States imports by one-third over the next decade:

"After my recent conversation with the President about Alaska's oil and natural gas potential, I am pleased he specifically mentioned Alaska's vast reserves as part of an effort to increase domestic production, lower our dependence on imported oil, and promote a secure energy future.

"And while it's reassuring the President recognizes that increased domestic production is a key tool to increase our national and energy security, I am disappointed to once again not hear specifics on how he intends to build incentives for production or tap Alaska's resources.

"Now that President Obama has set a clear goal for his Administration, it's time for him to act on key permits in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Clearing the way for responsible development of these energy sources is absolutely necessary if the President is serious about achieving his goal of cutting our imported oil by a third in the next decade.

"Securing our energy future won't happen in a single night, week or even year. It is going to take a mix of energy resources, the adoption of innovative new practices and a concerted effort to improve our energy efficiency. But, when it comes to increasing domestic production, Alaska should be viewed as the prime location for new, safe and responsible resource development."

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