Skip to comments.Another ANWR denial, Federal officials reject Alaska governorís latest plan to explore coastal plain
Posted on 08/04/2013 5:30:19 AM PDT by thackney
Alaska Gov. Sean Parnells open-ANWR strategy isnt working, at least not so far.
The Obama administration has again turned back a Parnell proposal to conduct exploratory activity on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The Republican governor had submitted, on July 9, an application to the Interior Department for a special use permit allowing the state to conduct 3-D seismic surveys across the coastal plain from 2014 to 2017.
On July 26, the governors office released a July 23 rejection letter from Geoffrey Haskett, Alaska regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages ANWR.
The letter cited statutory and regulatory bars to exploration.
Its the second time the administration has said no to Parnell on ANWR exploration. In June, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell rejected a broader proposal from Parnell to conduct a seven-year seismic and exploratory drilling program on the coastal plain.
Authorization expired, feds say
Parnell, along with most of Alaskas elected officials, see the coastal plain as another potential oil boom for the state. But the area remains closed to oil development without congressional approval.
Parnell and his natural resources commissioner, Dan Sullivan, submitted their latest exploration plan under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, Section 1002, which they believe authorizes exploratory activity.
Parnell and Sullivan say advanced 3-D seismic surveys are needed to update inferior 2-D data acquired in the 1980s. Fresh data would better define ANWRs probable oil and gas riches, they argue.
They say the surveys could be done in winter with virtually no impact on the tundra or wildlife.
Parnell pledged to seek at least $50 million during the next Alaska legislative session to pay for the work.
But federal officials contend any ANILCA authorization for exploratory activity expired long ago. Thus, the states seismic exploration plan was submitted years too late, Haskett wrote.
Consequently, the states exploration plan will not be published in the Federal Register, and no public hearing on the plan will be held, Haskett wrote, steps the governor said ANILCA required.
Haskett enclosed with his letter a Jan. 18, 2001, legal memorandum from the Interior Department solicitor analyzing whether oil and gas activity was allowed or prohibited on the 1.5-million-acre coastal plain.
The memo concluded that the better reading of Section 1002 was that authorization for exploratory activity expired in April 1987, when the Interior Department submitted a resource assessment report to Congress.
State to request reconsideration
I am disappointed the federal government chose to rely on an inaccurate interpretation of ANILCA, Parnell said in a July 26 press release. Parnell contended the legal memo actually confirms the states position that ANILCA Section 1002 sets no expiration date.
The memo acknowledges that nowhere in the section is there any express statement of expiration.
However, the solicitor said his analysis of the section, along with the legislative history and the Interior Departments implementation of the law, all lead to the conclusion that it was a time-limited authorization for exploratory activities in the coastal plain.
Parnell said the state will ask the national director of the Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider Hasketts disapproval.
Cindy Shogan, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League, hailed the rejection of Parnells latest exploration plan.
How many times and how many ways does the administration have to say no before Governor Parnell gets it? she said in a press release. The administration has been clear the Arctic Refuge is off the table. It is time for the state of Alaska to stop its fruitless push to drill in the Arctic Refuge. Seismic activity in the Arctic Refuge is prohibited without an act of Congress, and a policy that the administration firmly opposes.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is developing a new management plan for ANWR, and some of the alternatives under consideration include recommending the coastal plain for wilderness designation. Congress would have to OK any new wilderness. Such a designation would effectively bar oil development permanently.
“Parnell and Sullivan say advanced 3-D seismic surveys are needed to update inferior 2-D data acquired in the 1980s. Fresh data would better define ANWRs probable oil and gas riches, they argue. “
The Marxists in Washington, DC don’t want to know.
I guess the caribou are happy, but I didn’t know they could vote. Gawd forbid we develop more domestic energy sources, which might also create jobs too. Have the Saudis bought all of Washington?
Recent surveys of the Central Arctic caribou herd near the Prudhoe Bay oil field shows the herd population at its highest level ever recorded in the past quarter century. The herd has grown more than sevenfold since Prudhoe Bay development began in the mid-1970s.
The gravel roads the oil company builds makes it easier for the Caribou to travel the swampy North Slope Tundra in the summer months as well as allowing the some respite from the mosquitoes in the tundra.
How many times and how many ways does the administration have to say no before Governor Parnell gets it? she said in a press release..."
How long before some Governor tells our "Once and Future Tyrant" to shove it? Governors have military - force the Fed to use theirs to stop the state from: a) drilling b) building a pipeline c) rejecting Obama Care d) ceasing to be a tax collection agency for the IRS.
Alaska is perfectly capable of ignoring federal authority. It only lacks politicians able to do it.
“...Ignoring federal authority...”
States can’t do that in USA. They need to fall in line with what we’ve been taught: “Lincoln solved that issue.” It’s okay in other countries however.
I guess the caribou are happy
Actually they love the pipeline from the slope - they can find food near it when there isn’t much to be found elsewhere.
Fracking in the US already has the Saudis nervous. Heaven forbid that the US should actually be able produce enough oil to become independent.
That’s if the liberals get the hell out of the way. We are sitting on a gold mine and we have the means to become energy independent and lift ourselves out of this economic quagmire, but as usual the left is blocking the way. The caribou are far more intelligent than your typical leftist.
Dont ask for permission. Just do it and send in the national guard if the feds try to interfere.