U.S. Sen. Mark Begich released the following statement after President Obama today in Miami delivered a speech on energy. In the speech, the President said that the Administration plans to make available more than 75 percent of the country's potential offshore oil and gas resources, from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico, for exploration. The President also mentioned recent progress announced toward energy exploration in the Arctic.
"I am heartened to hear the President talk about Alaska and the Arctic when discussing new sources of American-made energy to create jobs and build an economy that lasts.
"For the past three years, it's been my daily goal to educate members of the Administration from the President on down, and other members of Congress, on Alaska's enormous potential for oil and gas development.
"It is correct to say we have made significant progress as Shell's spill response plan for the Chukchi Sea was approved last week, and we are moving ever closer to an active summer of exploration in the Arctic. But more work needs to be done. We need to continue to move forward on efforts for responsible oil and gas development beneath Arctic waters, the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
"The President said we can't drill our way out of high energy prices. But we can certainly do more at home to reduce energy costs for all Americans, increase national security and create thousands of jobs by developing our own resources. The place to start is Alaska, and I look forward to continuing help make that happen."