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Rep. Millett to Testify at EPA Hearing on Chukchi Sea Exploration Drilling Rep. Millett to Testify at EPA Hearing on Chukchi Sea Exploration Drilling

Thursday, September 24, 2009, Anchorage, Alaska -- Representative Charisse Millett, R – Anchorage, will testify in support of Shell Alaska’s application for an EPA Clean Air Permit during a public hearing tomorrow in Anchorage at the Loussac Library. The permit is necessary for the company to conduct exploratory oil and gas drilling in the Chukchi Sea during the 2010 drilling season. The hearing is being held by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf could someday rival Prudhoe Bay,” Millett said. “The federal government estimates it holds 27 billion barrels of oil and 130 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Those resources can fill the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and fuel the nation’s economy for decades to come. It can also be done in a manner that protects subsistence and the environment.”

Millett will hit on these key points in her testimony before the agency:

· Shell needs the permit issued by early 2010. Without it, Shell will have to cancel its drilling program again. 

· Shell has consistently met or exceeded requirements for operating in the Arctic, including its on-site oil spill response fleet, stakeholder engagement, first-of-its-kind baseline data collection and marine mammal avoidance measures. Even without a permit in hand, Shell is once again exceeding regulatory requirements for air discharge.

· Thousands of Alaskan jobs are at stake if the timely issuance of the air permits is not completed.  The longer-term impact from the potential of the Alaska OCS is estimated to be over 35,000 jobs created using a year-to-year average.

· The emissions from exploration drilling operations are temporary and in the Chukchi Sea, they will occur some 60-100 miles or more offshore.

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