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... and the feds should let us: Explore the potential for oil and gas extraction from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Gov. Sean Parnell Tuesday proposed the plan shortly after Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the seismic exploration of ANWR the state proposed in May would be prohibited under federal law, thus needing authorization from Congress.
As Ronald Reagan might say, there they go again. Parnell’s Tuesday proposal, he and Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan say, meets federal requirements —which they think was true of the previous, different proposal in the spring.
While the issue of drilling in ANWR garners heated political debate — and serves as a valuable fundraising tool for anti-Alaska national groups and politicians — the true potential of that refuge hasn’t yet been determined.
The governor Tuesday said, correctly, that “the people of America need to know the value of the resources below ground in ANWR.”
The last time a seismic assessment was done in ANWR, in the 1980s, it resulted in the Interior secretary recommending development. Congress agreed, but President Bill Clinton put the kibosh on the drilling then, ending the possibility for the ensuing 20-plus years.
Meanwhile, we decry energy shortfalls and reliance on foreign oil, as supplies become strained.
Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat, and Rep. Don Young, a Republican, both commented favorably on Parnell’s Tuesday proposal. Begich said the Obama administration was wrong to oppose drilling; Young said that, pro- or anti-drilling sentiment aside, “Alaskans and Americans deserve to know what they own.”
They do — we do — and we’d like the federal government to get out of the way of what The Associated Press called “very low-impact state-of-the-art” 3-D seismic surveys over three years beginning in 2014. No one values Alaska more than those of us who live here year-round, and glory in the Great Land.
We’ll do it right.