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DOA — dead on arrival — is just the right disposition for a ridiculous notion.
That’s how Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski responded to the federal government’s proposition that Alaska forego some revenue sharing to help pay to clean up abandoned federal well sites in Alaska. According to a report from The Associated Press, Alaska Sen. Mark Begich and Gov. Sean Parnell agree: You made the mess, Uncle Sam; you can clean it up.
It’s especially galling that the 130 or so wells at issue were in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, where the feds for reasons surpassing human understanding — oh, wait; politics is the reason — believe extracting petroleum would be unreasonable. (What next — shopping in a mall?) The exploratory drilling began in the 1940s, while Alaska was still a U.S. territory. Yes, Interior Secretary Jewell, Alaska will benefit from still-only-imaginary development of the NPR-A. What has that to do with the clean-up?
At a subcommittee hearing in?Washington Tuesday, Alaska’s senior senator expressed what most Alaskans (and most Americans, for that matter) already know. We can’t improve on her phrasing, when she said there was “no doubt in my mind that when the federal government comes to land that has been federally designated, drills wells, walks away from it, leaves a mess, that that is the federal government’s responsibility.”