News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Giessel
For Immediate Release: December 20, 2018

Senate Majority Welcomes Significant Step toward ANWR Development

Giessel_stamp.jpgSenator Cathy Giessel   Web Site    Send Email

ANCHORAGE – Members of the Alaska Senate Majority today welcomed a significant step toward opening the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for responsible resource development. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) today for the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program following a public scoping period earlier this year.

“Today’s announcement is the product of a thorough public process, one involving diverse communities of Alaskans across our great state,” said Senate President Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage), who attended EIS hearings in Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Washington D.C. “Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the BLM did an outstanding job. Resource development has improved the lives of thousands living in the Arctic, lifting them out of poverty and enabling them to live longer, happier lives. Development in ANWR has the potential to improve the lives of thousands more.”

During the public scoping process, the BLM held public meetings in Washington D.C., Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kaktovik, Arctic Village, Utqiagvik and Venetie. The meetings were live-streamed, and the bureau accepted written comments. The BLM also outlined how Alaskans can also comment on the Draft EIS.

The environmental report was required under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Tax Act), a tax overhaul supported by Alaska’s congressional delegation and signed into law by President Trump.

“Innovation is the key to growing our economy,” said Senate Majority Leader Mia Costello (R-Anchorage). “Responsible resource development will bring jobs, capital and opportunity to solve old problems in new ways. With today’s news, our state’s long-term economic future looks bright.”

The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) greatly expanded the area that is now known as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). As part of a great compromise from Congress, much of ANWR was preserved for wildlife, while a small fraction was envisioned for responsible resource development.

“This is a welcome, long-sought after decision point on this historical path,” said Senator John Coghill (R-North Pole). “Alaskans have overwhelmingly supported responsible development in ANWR. The federal government is finally following through on expectations from decades ago.”

For more information, contact Daniel McDonald at (907) 269-0147.


Share this on Twitter Tweet icon-facebook.png Share

News & Videos more >

Senator Shelley Hughes

Alaska Senate Urges Railroad Crossing through Canada

JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today unanimously voted for a resolution urging the U.S. to issue a presidential permit allowing a railroad crossing between Alaska and Canada....  Full Story >>

Senator Click Bishop

PFD Raffle for Education Raises Nearly $1 million

The numbers are in for the 2019 Alaska Permanent Fund Education Raffle. The program, in its first year, raised a grand total of $976,400, with 85 percent of the proceeds directly benefiting...  Full Story >>

Senator Peter Micciche

'Save the Alaska State Fair Act’ Passes Senate

The Alaska Senate today unanimously passed Senate Bill 16 to clarify irregularities detrimental to small businesses in the state’s alcohol license laws.  Full Story >>

Senator Natasha von Imhof

Senate Finance Introduces Spending Cap, 50/50 POMV Split

JUNEAU – The Senate Finance Committee today introduced a pair of bills to cap government spending and establish a 50-50 split between dividends and state expenses from the limited...  Full Story >>

Senator Mia Costello

Legislators Update Alaska Innovation Caucus

Leaders from all parties come together for Alaska’s future economy  Full Story >>

Senator Cathy Giessel

Senate Approves Renewal of Alaska Vaccine Assessment Program

JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today unanimously approved a measure that improves statewide access to vaccines and reduces healthcare costs for providers and insurance payers....  Full Story >>

Majority Press Office

Senate Majority Cheers Sturgeon Supreme Court Victory

JUNEAU – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in favor of John Sturgeon, finding that the Nation River is state, not federal, land, and is therefore navigable inside of Alaska’s...  Full Story >>

Senator Bert Stedman

Alaska Senate Approves Funding for Earthquake Disaster Relief

JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today unanimously approved funding to aid communities impacted by the Nov. 30 Southcentral earthquake.  Full Story >>

Senator David Wilson

Proposal Would Allow PFD Donations to General Fund

JUNEAU – A bill was introduced in the Alaska Senate this week to give Alaskans the option of donating all or a portion of their Permanent Fund dividends (PFDs) directly to the state’s...  Full Story >>

Senator John Coghill

Bill Introduced to Repeal Rules Restricting Speech, Process

JUNEAU – Today, a bill was introduced in the Alaska Senate to repeal provisions of a new law found to be too restrictive of Alaska’s citizen legislature.  Full Story >>

Find your Senator full map