Governor Parnell Fights New ANWR Wilderness Reviews
May 11, 2010, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today submitted comments on upcoming revisions to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) Comprehensive Conservation Plan by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). A new refuge plan could potentially affect the most promising unexplored petroleum region in North America.
Governor Parnell strongly opposes any plan or wilderness review process that further encumbers or complicates the potential for oil and gas development on the coastal plain, specifically the area described in Section 1002 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.“Responsible oil and gas development in ANWR’s coastal plain would provide a secure on-shore domestic supply source of energy for the nation, create tens of thousands of jobs throughout the country, and ensure the continued operation of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System for years to come,” Governor Parnell said. “We must keep good paying jobs at home and reduce our purchases of foreign energy supplies.” Kevin Banks, director of the Division of Oil and Gas in the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, provided testimony at a USFWS public hearing in Anchorage. “We believe that, in point of fact and as a matter of law, the decisions about both oil and gas development and wilderness designation of the 1002 Area have been reserved by Congress for itself,” Banks testified. “Any study recommendations will further fuel national controversies over the future disposition of the 1002 Area. Such controversies will distort congressional considerations of the highest-potential on-shore area for oil development remaining in the United States.” A copy of Governor Parnell’s comments is available at: http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/documents/gov_ltrtoSharonSeimReANWR.pdf