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Governor Releases Statement on Moratorium

October 12, 2010, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell released the following statement in response to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision to lift the suspension on deepwater exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. The decision does not relate to offshore drilling in Alaska.

“If Secretary Salazar can lift the moratorium for wells in 5,000 feet of water, he should be able to do so for a shallow water well in the Beaufort Sea,” Governor Parnell said. “While this is a step in the right direction, the 2011 drilling season in Alaska remains at stake. The industry needs regulatory certainty and predictability. Without certainty, it is very difficult for the industry to plan or invest, to the detriment of Alaska and the nation.

“Today’s decision offers no clear guidelines that pertain to Alaska. The Arctic moratorium violates federal law and our lawsuit against Secretary Salazar will proceed.”

The State of Alaska last month filed a lawsuit against the Secretary of the Interior in U.S. District Court in Alaska to overturn the federal moratorium on offshore drilling in Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf. The suit seeks to block the moratorium on the grounds that the Obama administration violated federal law and acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner.

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