Governor Sean Parnell today expressed concern with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (USFWS) announcement that it will consider wilderness recommendations in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) which would preclude oil and gas development in this region. The USFWS said it will begin an update of ANWR's Comprehensive Conservation Plan.
"The oil and gas, wilderness, and wildlife values of the coastal plain have already been studied and this study previously has been submitted to Congress," Governor Parnell said. "It is a mistake for the federal government to initiate yet another planning process in ANWR, the most promising unexplored petroleum region in North America."
There will be several opportunities for public comment on the conservation plan. The governor said the State of Alaska will participate "vigorously" in this process, which is expected to take two years.
Oil development in ANWR would provide a safe and secure source of supply to the nation, would create tens of thousands of jobs throughout the country, and would ensure the continuing operation of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System for years to come.