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Begich Responds to President’s Energy Announcement

Says Incentives for Increased Development Reinforce Need for Revenue Sharing

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today released the following statement in response to President Obama’s proposal to put billions of dollars from Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) revenues into the Energy Security Trust:

“After years of pressing the Administration to understand Alaska’s energy potential, I am pleased to see the White House today calling for ‘more diligent development of oil and gas leases’ and ‘monetary incentives to get leases into production.’  Safe and responsible development is not just good for Alaska’s economy, it will put us on a path to real energy security.”

The President’s proposal includes putting $2 billion over the next ten years into the Energy Security Trust. This money would come from OCS revenues. Begich has previously supported similar efforts to turn Alaska’s oil wealth into cleaner energy technology.

“Any discussion about increasing oil and gas revenues also needs to include sharing revenue with Alaska.  Alaskans know that our state’s vast resources are key to securing our energy future and just like the Gulf Coast – we deserve our fair share. That is why I recently introduced my revenue sharing bill to make sure that our communities and tribes benefit directly from oil and gas being produced in our own state.”

Begich’s bill secures a share of federal revenues from offshore oil and gas development for the State of Alaska and Alaska’s coastal communities in an amount equal to what the gulf states receive from drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. It will provide support to state, local and tribal governments for public-infrastructure required to develop the resources, address the impacts in affected communities and, if necessary, respond in times of emergency.

“Today’s call for increased OCS leases is a positive sign that the President is following through on his support for an all-of-the-above energy approach, but I was disappointed the announcement continued to exclude the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). With 6-9 billion barrels of domestic oil waiting to be developed, ANWR is quite literally an untapped resource that could be a game-changer in our country’s ability to take control of our energy needs.”

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