Page 27: of Marine News Magazine (October 2016)
Salvage & Spill Response
The question facing the energy industry is whether U.S. politics will allow for an energy thaw. It is important to point out that Arctic oil and natural gas exploration is not a nascent industry. In the Alaska
Arctic, onshore development has occurred for decades, supplying a safe and consistent source of home-grown oil to consumers in the lower 48 states via the Trans-Alaska pipeline.
the proposed Beaufort and Chukchi lease sales a top prior-
Randall Luthi is President of the National Ocean ity. It is vital for our nation’s economic and energy security
Industries Association (NOIA).
that the opportunity for sales in the Beaufort and Chukchi remain in the plan, and are without arbitrary and politically- expedient restrictions that render the sales meaningless.
The Arctic regulations promulgated by the U.S. govern- ment earlier this year largely serve to further restrict off- shore exploration in the region. The regulations do not accurately re? ect current industry practices or the ability to cap a well and capture oil and gas in the unlikely event of release during drilling. In fact, the regulations increase the cost of projects without increasing safety. Therefore oil prices have to be signi? cantly better than they are today for companies to seriously plan for additional exploration activities in the Alaskan Arctic.
The current administration has also refused to endorse a revenue sharing plan for Alaska. The Gulf of Mexico states that participate in offshore oil and gas development (the only other place in the U.S. currently open for offshore leasing) have a revenue sharing program allowing both the
Federal and state governments to receive royalties, bonus bids and rents paid by the oil and natural gas industry.
The revenue is an added bonus to the increased economic growth that is a by-product of the oil and natural gas in- dustry. For areas like Alaska’s North Slope, where 99 % of the North Slope Borough’s budget depends on oil and gas taxes, this would be a tremendous boost to help sup- port local infrastructure, schools, community centers, and other basic services.
As the Arctic stands poised on the threshold of a new economic era, oil and natural gas exploration and devel- opment in the region requires joint cooperation between native communities, the state of Alaska, the federal gov- ernment and industry. Bringing all these stakeholders to- gether will not only ensure that there is safe development of our resources, but will ensure that local communities are not left behind in the new wave of Arctic policies from
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