Friday, May 24, 2013
Murkowski: Offshore Work Could Set Standard for Arctic Responsibility
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said a major oil spill in the Arctic would threaten to end production in the region, production that is already happening off the coasts of most far northern countries.
FAIRBANKS — U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said a major oil spill in the Arctic would threaten to end production in the region, production that is already happening off the coasts of most far northern countries.
Murkowski told an East Coast conference early Tuesday the United States should strive to be the "leader in offshore energy development" to pursue "twin goals" of environmental protection and domestic energy security.
"I think we all know there can be no mistakes along the way — we've got one chance to get it right," she told a Center for Strategic and International Studies audience.
Murkowski said the absence of "coherent" implementation of national offshore development policy, coupled with the regulatory uncertainty and threat of litigation allowed by a blurry regulatory web, injures the investment climate needed to attract infrastructure to let agencies prepare for a busy region.
She said U.S. production of Arctic oil, including an estimated 24 billion barrels beneath the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, and natural gas is crucial to the country's economic interests and for responsible development in the broader Arctic region.
Murkowski's speech was part of a conference examining key issues impacted by last year's Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The Arctic is believed to hold around 13 percent of the world's untapped oil, with the northern Alaska basin representing a significant portion.
Contact staff writer Christopher Eshleman at 459-7582.