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Governor Walker Responds to White House Announcement on Arctic Oil and Gas Leasing

'Marginalizes the voices of those who call the Arctic home'


Gov. Bill Walker


December 20, 2016 ANCHORAGE – “This unprecedented move marginalizes the voices of those who call the Arctic home and have asked for responsible resource development to lower the cost of energy to heat houses and businesses.

For centuries, the Arctic has provided food for those in the region. No one is more invested than Alaskans to ensure that the habitats within the Arctic are protected.

To lock it up against any further exploration or development activity is akin to saying that the voices of activists who live in Lower 48 cities have a greater stake than those to whom the Arctic is our front yard and our back yard. 

During my phone call with Secretary Sally Jewell earlier today, she acknowledged that she and her team at the U.S. Department of the Interior took into consideration the requests that Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack and I made during multiple meetings with her in Washington, D.C., and in Fairbanks.

We highlighted the areas of the Arctic most likely to provide revenue to the state. These efforts are reflected in that those regions were not included in the administration’s final decision. 

However, this concession is not satisfactory because the administration has already failed to include these same areas in its most recent five-year leasing plan.” –Governor Bill Walker

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