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Governor Disapproves of Wilderness Proposal

September 28, 2010, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Parnell today reaffirmed his opposition to any plan or wilderness review process that further encumbers the potential for oil and gas development on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

“It is incredible that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to increase wilderness designation and lock up 11 billion barrels of oil,” Governor Parnell said. “Through a detailed letter from Attorney General Dan Sullivan, and through other correspondence, my administration has repeatedly questioned the legality of this maneuver by the federal government, and yet we have not even received a response concerning the legally suspect course that Fish and Wildlife is choosing to follow.

“Oil and gas development in the Section 1002 coastal plain would provide secure on-shore domestic supply of energy for the nation, create tens of thousands of jobs throughout the country, and ensure the continued operation of the trans Alaska Pipeline System for years to come. Alaska will not allow the federal government to lock up more land without a fight.”

The governor noted that oil from ANWR could help meet U.S. demand for 25 years or more and that development is compatible with the protection of wildlife and their habitat.

“We think we have strong legal options to prevent these unwarranted federal actions,” Governor Parnell said.

Governor Parnell’s comments come in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s announcement that the agency will conduct wilderness reviews for three Wilderness Study Areas for potential inclusion within the National Wilderness Preservation System.

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