Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Alaska To Play A Big Role in Obama’s Domestic Energy Plans
During his weekly radio address, President Obama talked about plans to conduct annual lease sales in the national petroleum reserve.
President Barack Obama has announced plans to increase domestic oil production and Alaska will be playing a big role.
During his weekly radio address Saturday morning, the president talked about the skyrocketing gas prices at the pump. Which is why he said his new plan of attack will tap into lease sales in the National Petroleum Reserve. It will also create a special team to work on Alaskan drilling permits.
With years of permit problems in the Last Frontier, this plan would streamline permits in Alaska and encourage oil production in Alaskan waters.
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has been critical of President Obama’s policies in the past, but after his speech Saturday, she believes his verbal commitment needs to support the realities in producing Arctic oil.
"The president's comments today were good, they were positive, they are certainly in the right direction,” said Murkowski.
“While many of them have concerns, the general consensus is that this will be a positive movement for Alaska,” she said.
U.S. Senator Mark Begich, D-Alaska, also released a statement in response to Obama’s plan.
"These steps will hopefully lead to expanded development in Alaska and long-term reduction in our dependence on foreign oil from unfriendly countries,” he said.
“However, congress still must pass comprehensive energy and tax reform bills to bring some relief to families facing high gas prices today and in the future.”
But how long will it take to translate the president’s words into action? Sen. Murkowski expects “eight to ten years” and went on to say that Alaskans wouldn’t see changes in gas prices overnight.
In a statement, Alaska Governor Sean Parnell said, "The president must now ensure these agencies recognize the importance of responsible resource development, critical to our nation’s energy security.”