Anchorage 57.0 °F
Fairbanks 48.0 °F
Juneau 48.0 °F
Senator Begich says Presidential Election Will Not Affect Offshore Drilling
Senator Mark Begich says in terms of offshore drilling, the train has left the station.
ANCHORAGE - Senator Mark Begich says in terms of offshore drilling, the train has left the station.
Alaska's junior senator said whoever is elected to the White House in November cannot slow down or speed up offshore exploratory drilling in the arctic.
"When people ask me will there be differences if the president gets re-elected will it stop offshore drilling that's one of the questions," said Sen. Begich, D-AK. "Another question is if Romney gets elected will it be accelerated? What we've been able to put in place is something that's now a model to keep permitting moving at a fairly decent pace."
Deputy Interior Secretary, David Hayes, confirmed the administration's intent at a senate committee meeting on commerce in Anchorage Thursday afternoon. (10/11)
Begich says all panel members understand Alaska and the nation is committed to exploratory drilling, it's now learning how to manage those operations offshore.
Currently Shell Oil is drilling preliminary wells in the Beaufort and Chukchi sea. They will not reach petroleum zones until next year when a response barge is ready to be on scene.
The 2012 drilling season ends October 31st.
Senator Begich says Conoco Phillips and Statoil is next in line to begin offshore drilling in the arctic.