Big Decisions Coming from the Feds for Alaska’s Economy

This week the Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Abby Hopper, will be visiting Alaska for what may be the final review of issues surrounding the development of Alaska’s Arctic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

Alaskans need to know how important this visit is to their future. Right now, BOEM is finalizing the next Five-Year Plan for the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), and determining if any lease sales will be included for the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. If the lease sales are not included in the plan a door will be closed on one of the biggest economic opportunities for our state and nation. AK HEADLAMP will be providing pertinent information every day this week about Director Hopper’s visit.  

Here is a bit of background about the agency. BOEM is within the United States Department of the Interior and was established in 2010 by the Secretary of the Interior via Secretarial Order.

According to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) “the OCS is a vital national resource reserve held by the Federal Government for the public, which should be made available for expeditious and orderly development, subject to environmental safeguards, in a manner which is consistent with the maintenance of competition and other national needs.”

BOEM and its sister agency, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, are the agencies to which this responsibility is delegated. They exercise oil, gas, and renewable energy-related management functions, specifically, BOEM activities involve resource evaluation, planning, and leasing.

Tomorrow Headlamp will look at industry involvement in Alaska’s arctic.