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Senator McGuire Writes Secretary Salazar Urging Approval of Shell’s Application for Permit to Drill in Beaufort Sea


Anchorage – Senator Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, submitted a letter today to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar urging the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) to approve Shell’s application for a permit to drill in the Beaufort Sea.

“I applaud Shell’s decision to submit an application to drill a shallow-water exploratory well in the Beaufort Sea,” said Senator McGuire. “If we do not develop, the risks to current production, our environment and the very bedrock of Alaska’s economy are too great to comprehend. I believe that we have delayed long enough and I urged Secretary Salazar to consider the impact of OCS development on the economy of the State of Alaska in his review of Shell’s permit.”

The Alaska State Senate’s Resources Committee held a hearing on spill response and preparedness in Alaska and heard testimony from Shell about the additional safety measures the company has adopted.

“The recent events in the Gulf have made us all mindful of just how important the availability of assets is during a response. With increasing vessel traffic in the arctic we must be prepared to respond in the event of a spill and Shell’s assets represent a critical resource. The fact is that development is occurring elsewhere in the arctic, and without development and the infrastructure that comes with exploration, I fear Alaska will be ill-prepared to respond to accidents that occur beyond our borders,” said Senator McGuire.

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