Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Director of Ocean Policy Michael Conathan issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that its final offshore oil and gas leasing plan for 2017–2022 will not include new lease sales in the Arctic Ocean.
Removing these lease sales from the five-year program is the only sensible approach to offshore energy development in federal Arctic waters. With the price of oil in the cellar and the risks of Arctic Ocean drilling still through the roof, there is no scenario in which offshore exploration or development is a good idea either economically or environmentally. Today’s action allows government officials and Alaskans to instead collaborate to develop sustainable economic opportunities in the region, including renewable energy development, telecommunications, and port infrastructure, which can provide economic opportunities for Alaskans without jeopardizing the region’s invaluable coast and ocean.
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