Anchorage, AK – April 19, 2024 – Leaders in Alaska’s business and resource development sectors were swift to condemn the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to impose restrictive regulations on oil and gas development within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).

With the ruling, almost half of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska’s (NPR-A) acreage is immediately off the table for development. The NPR-A is a critical source of both energy and employment for Alaska. The move poses severe, potential economic repercussions for the state.

Kara Moriarty, president and CEO of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association commented: “The Biden Administration’s new rules are a dramatic shift in how our National Petroleum Reserve is managed. Essentially, the Administration is fundamentally changing the law through the regulatory process, violating both statute and Congressional intent. These changes guarantee even more legal and procedural hurdles, aiming to scare off investors and developers, at a time when the world demands more oil from stable countries. It doesn’t make any sense and is a sad departure from the current management of NPRA that supported economic growth while protecting the environment.”

Josiah Patkotak, mayor of the North Slope Borough: “The Department of the Interior seems to believe that they care about this land more than we do. The elected leaders of the North Slope spoke in unison in opposition to this rule and the rulemaking process. To refuse to listen to our voices is to say that you know better – better than the people who have been this land’s stewards for the past 10,000 years, and who depend on its continued health for their own survival. We deserve the same right to economic prosperity and essential services as the rest of this country, and are being denied the opportunity to take care of our residents and community with this decision. It is insulting and, unfortunately, representative of the federal government’s treatment of our Indigenous voices for decades.”

Kati Capozzi, president and CEO of the Alaska Chamber stated: “The new rules threaten Alaska’s economy. They ignore input from many communities, including those in rural parts of the state, which impact Alaska Native people and shareholders. These rules will result in us relying more on oil from foreign countries, many of which openly oppose U.S.

interests. There is good reason Alaska’s Congressional Delegation has stood together in opposing this rule. With growing global turmoil, this is the worst time to tie our economic hands behind our back.”

Leila Kimbrell, executive director for the Resource Development Council for Alaska added: “This rule fundamentally changes to how we manage oil and gas projects on the North Slope in the wrong way and ignores the purpose for which the NPR-A was established. This is completely out of step with Alaska’s history of balancing responsible development with environmental care. These rules will restrict economic growth and job creation at the expense of Alaskans and our Alaskan Native communities on the North Slope. Now is not the time to reengineer how we do things here, especially during a period of upheaval in global energy markets. In short, these rules are an outrage and should serve as a wake-up call to Alaskans.”

Rebecca Logan, CEO of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance commented: “The Alaska Legislature passed a nearly unanimous resolution to protect our state from these rules because of the harm they will inflict on our economy. That bipartisan resolution was ignored. Now, new and future opportunities in our oil, gas, and mining industries will be challenged if not blocked. Restrictive measures like these will negatively affect every community in every corner of the state.”

The Alaska Legislature recently passed a resolution urging the federal government to withdraw these proposed changes, highlighting negative impacts on the state’s economy and the livelihoods of thousands of Alaskans. The resolution warned the new regulations could undermine decades of balanced energy policies and development efforts that have successfully coexisted with environmental stewardship. It appears the legislature’s joint plea was cast aside.

Industry leaders predict the proposed regulations will not only jeopardize jobs and economic development, but also slow down or halt future investments in the region. The restrictions could also decrease the longevity of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), a vital piece of infrastructure that serves as the state’s economic backbone.

About the Alaska Oil and Gas Association

AOGA is a professional trade association whose mission is to foster the long-term viability of the oil and gas industry in Alaska for the benefit of all Alaskans.

About the Alaska Chamber

The Alaska Chamber was founded in 1953 and is Alaska’s most diverse statewide business advocacy organization. Our mission is to promote a healthy business environment in Alaska. The Chamber has more than 700 members and represents businesses of all sizes and industries from across the state, directly representing 58,000 Alaskan workers and $4.6 billion in wages.

About the Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.

The Resource Development Council for Alaska is an Alaskan trade association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s fishing, forestry, mining, oil and gas, and tourism industries. RDC’s membership includes Alaska Native corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

About the North Slope Borough

The North Slope Borough is the largest borough in Alaska, comprising over 15% of the total land area. It consists primarily of the north and northeastern coast of Alaska, including the Brooks Range, north of the Arctic Circle.

About the Alaska Support Industry Alliance

The Alliance promotes responsible exploration, development and production of oil, gas and mineral resources for the benefit of all Alaskans. It represents more than 500 businesses who provide support to the oil and gas and mining industries.

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Media contacts:
Sierra Minder, (907) 347-1732 or
Kari Nore, (907) 278-2722 or
Leila Kimbrell, (907) 406-5198 or
Rebecca Logan, (907) 563-2226 or
North Slope Borough,(907) 852-0200,