Responsible Oil and Gas Production

I support responsible exploration, development, and production of oil and gas in Alaska. Currently, the Alaskan economy depends on oil and gas production for jobs and state revenue, and it will continue to be so dependent for at least the near future. Alaska has some of the most stringent requirements for oil and gas operations in the world; I support those requirements and believe they should continue to be reviewed to ensure that they are adequately protecting the environment.

Global energy use must move from fossil fuels to renewable and clean energy sources in a very intentional way. This is a national security concern both due to our dependence on foreign oil and because of risks to our climate due to rising CO2 levels.

No statement about oil and gas development in Alaska would be complete without addressing the question of exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). I support safe and responsible oil exploration in the 1002 Area of the Refuge, and support maximum revenue sharing with the State of Alaska. I will strive to maximize Alaska-hire for any work done in the 1002 area, and was disappointed that the State will only obtain 50% of ANWR revenue, rather than the 90% previously secured by Sen. Ted Stevens.

I am skeptical of oil exploration and development in the Arctic Ocean. I do not believe industry has adequately demonstrated the capability to avoid a major oil spill, nor the ability to clean up oil in a broken ice environment. Any future oil exploration in the offshore Arctic must face significant scrutiny if it is to obtain approval. I am particularly concerned with Arctic Ocean oil and gas activity due to the diminished role of the State of Alaska in such decisions. The loss of the Alaska Coastal Management Program denies the State a valuable tool in protecting our coastal lands and waters, where Alaskans hunt and fish.