Delegation Welcomes New NPR-A Integrated Activity Plan
U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young, all R-Alaska, today issued the following statements after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced the release of an updated Integrated Activity Plan (IAP) for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).
"This is more good news for Alaskans as we chart a path to economic recovery and long-term prosperity for our state. This robust plan recognizes the purposes of the NPR-A and will restore reasonable access to one of the most promising areas on the North Slope, while also taking care to ensure adequate protection of ecologically sensitive areas," Murkowski said. "This strikes the right balance and fulfills the statutory purposes of the petroleum reserve -- to produce energy for our state and country. I thank Secretary Bernhardt and the team at BLM Alaska for their hard work to develop this plan, and for listening to input from Alaskans throughout the drafting process."
"As we look to build back and achieve a strong economic recovery for Alaska, I welcome the new NPR-A IAP, which provides a great opportunity to fill the Tran-Alaska Pipeline, keep good-paying jobs for thousands of hard-working Alaskans, and support our energy security," Sullivan said. "Responsibly developing the vast oil and gas reserves on federal lands in our state will bolster our economic well-being while we also protect and preserve the environment we call home. BLM and the Trump administration have done well to consult closely with Alaskans on this new plan for the NPR-A, which is much better equipped to achieve that important balance than the flawed 2013 IAP. I applaud Secretary Bernhardt and the Interior Department for their months of work to reach this milestone and further unleash the energy potential of the NPR-A for the benefit of Alaskans and the entire country."
"For years, the oil reserves from the NPR-A have powered America and provided good-paying jobs for countless Alaskans. The final Integrated Activity Plan is welcome news for our state and the North Slope communities whose livelihoods depend on energy exploration. This roadmap will help pave the way toward greater upward mobility and economic opportunity, particularly in our Alaska Native communities. I will continue working hard to ensure that Alaska's vast resources are front and center as we keep pursuing American energy dominance. I want to thank President Trump and the Bureau of Land Management for helping to make this updated IAP a reality, and I look forward to seeing what is next for the NPR-A," Young said.
According to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the new plan "includes important safeguards for wildlife and sensitive resources, while allowing for responsible oil and gas leasing across 18.6 million acres of the NPR-A. These safeguards include no surface occupancy, controlled surface use, timing limitations and provide for new and emerging technologies to access subsurface resources while maintaining important surface values. The new IAP closes more than 4 million acres to leasing." By comparison, the Obama administration imposed sweeping closures over the delegation's objections that accounted for over half of the reserve's surface acreage in 2013.
BLM administers the NPR-A under the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act and other federal laws. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the 23 million-acre region on the western North Slope -- roughly the size of the state of Indiana -- contains 8.7 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil.
More information about the IAP is available here.