Citing a complete failure to take the State of Alaska's views into consideration, Governor Sean Parnell today announced the State will immediately withdraw as a cooperating agency from the Memorandum of Understanding concerning the National Petroleum Reserve -- Alaska (NPR-A). Last month, without providing any notice to the State or any other cooperating agency, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced millions of acres in the NPR-A will be off limits to development as part of the new NPR-A land management proposal.
"Your recent surprise announcement of a preferred alternative effectively withdrawing millions of acres in NPR-A (an area designated by Congress for oil and gas development to meet the energy needs of the nation), and the complete failure of the Department of the Interior to take into account the State's comments as a cooperating agency, as required by federal statutes, regulations, BLM handbooks and policies, shows a complete lack of respect for the views of the State," Governor Parnell wrote to Secretary Salazar.
The State had provided comments supporting full development of oil and gas resources in the NPR-A, with reasonable mitigation measures. The State's recommendations were not included in the selected alternative.
Governor Parnell urged the Secretary to start the process over and include input from the state.