'Alaska is America's Arctic energy breadbasket'

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, in prepared testimony before an Aug. 20 field hearing in Anchorage on Arctic policies hosted by US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Minority Member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.).

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, in prepared testimony before a field hearing on Arctic policies hosted by US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Minority Member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) Aug. 20 in Anchorage:

“Any conversation about the Arctic must also include Alaska’s natural resources: coal, gold, zinc, silver, copper, natural gas and oil. These resources make the Arctic vital to American energy security. Alaska is America’s Arctic energy breadbasket. We have traditional and renewable sources of energy in staggering volumes here. Alaska can play an even greater role in reducing the amount of oil and gas we import from abroad. And we can be America’s test-bed for renewable and alternative energy sources.

“The onshore Arctic areas, such as the [National Petroleum Rserve-Alaska] and the coastal plain of [the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge], hold great promise. Alaska is home to the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, which carries 685,000 bbl of oil a day to the lower 48 states. This major supply of oil is key to our national energy security.

“Offshore Alaska, the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, can be explored safely in the near term, producing oil and gas for decades. Without these known, traditional sources of energy, we risk higher cost energy, higher taxes, and greater dependence on foreign oil. We can do this on our own soil. Let us not be led down the easy path to investing America’s foreign aid dollars in exploration abroad. Let’s keep it here, where Americans can get the jobs, and where environmental laws safeguard our land, seas, and wildlife.

“Putting the brakes on domestic energy production does not prevent global warming or end threats to species. Instead, delaying responsible exploration and development increases the problem by shifting resource extraction to less environmentally preferred fuels and locations.”

Contact Nick Snow atnicks@pennwell.com

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