Next steps. Following a blistering array of statements, Alaska’s lawmakers must now decide how best to block, overturn, or mitigate President Obama’s recent Arctic decision. Sen. Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young, said the lawmakers would consider proposing legislation to help President-elect Donald Trump overturn the bans if necessary. “The Congressman believes this decision can be overturned by the incoming Administration and will be encouraging President Trump to do so. In addition, Congressman Young will also pursue legislation to overturn this decision,” Young’s spokesman, told The Hill.
“Ambiguities in the law will create an opportunity for litigation by the very extreme environmental groups that President Obama was pandering to,” said Sullivan’s spokesman. “It doesn’t mean their litigation would succeed, but just as with any number of actions the new administration might undertake, Congress can buttress those decisions with statutory support.”
President-elect Trump, who has professed himself an ally of resource development in all forms, did not respond to a request for comment about Obama’s Tuesday decision. He has repeatedly promised public lands and waters will be opened for more oil and natural gas development.
Painting with a broad brush. While some Native groups celebrated the move, others did not. The Arctic Slope Regional Corporation said the president didn’t consult with its members and is ignoring the real needs of the Inupiat people. In a press release, ASRC said, “his decision demonstrates how out of touch the administration is with the views of the local communities and the state of Alaska – where the majority of residents overwhelmingly support offshore development.”
Back at home. The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation is still trying to broker a deal to take over the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas project, but it will not happen by its end-of-the-year deadline. AGDC has acquired the rights to all of the information developed by the project. It has also sent notice to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it will go through the permitting process alone.
Alaska lawmakers mull legislation to block Obama drilling ban
The Hill, Timothy Cama, December 22, 2016
ASRC: Obama acts in our name, ignores our needs
Alaska Public Radio News, Liz Ruskin, December 22, 2016
Obama ignores Alaskans, Natives with decision to prohibit Arctic offshore development
Arctic Journal, December 21, 2016
Year in Review: Oil & Gas
Alaska Journal of Commerce, Elwood Brehmer, December 21, 2016
Timeline extended for state takeover of Alaska LNG project
Alaska Public Radio News, Rashah McChesney, December 22, 2016
Trump administration will be asked to resolve dispute between Alaska and BLM over land surveys
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, December 22, 2016
Ban on new Arctic drilling gives Canada leg up: U.S. lawmakers
Reuters, Leah Schnurr & Andrea Hopkins, December 21, 2016