Oceana Applauds Alaska Sen. Mark Begich
Bills Call for Better Science, Response, and Rescue Capabilities in Alaska’s Arctic Waters
Press Release Date: July 15, 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Late Wednesday, Alaska Sen. Mark Begich introduced two pieces of legislation that would provide for better science, response, and rescue related to oil and gas activities in Alaska’s Arctic waters (attached). The following is a statement from Oceana’s Pacific Senior Counsel, Michael LeVine regarding those bills.
“Oceana applauds Sen. Begich’s commitment to ensuring that science and safety measures are in place to keep Alaska’s coasts, communities, and fisheries safe for generations to come. The ongoing tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico is a stark reminder of the increasing risks as oil companies drill in remote, sensitive places and under forbidding conditions. With exploration wells similar to the one in the Gulf proposed in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, it is imperative we have adequate scientific data to proceed as safely and efficiently as possible, and that we have sufficient response and recovery resources in the area before any work begins.
Senator Begich’s bills are significant steps in the right direction and would allow for better response and rescue capabilities and the necessary science to guide decisions about whether we should drill in Arctic waters and, if so, when, where, and how. It’s too late to prevent the Deepwater Horizon disaster, but it would be equally tragic if we don’t apply the lessons we’ve learned to other critical places such as the Arctic.”