Alliance, ASRC and AOGA Reactions to Obama’s Decision Regarding Arctic Oil & Gas Leasing

For Immediate Release
Contact: Rebecca Logan, (907) 563-2226

Move to Permanently Ban Oil & Gas Leasing in the Arctic is a Major Blow to Alaska’s Economic Future

December 20, 2016, Anchorage, Alaska – Today, in an unprecedented move President Obama permanently removed the overwhelming majority of U.S. Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska from oil and gas leasing. Using an obscure section of the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Land Act Pres. Obama unilaterally withdrew the entire Chukchi Sea and nearly the entire Beaufort Sea, for a total of 125 million acres, from future oil and gas development.

This negative announcement follows a string of anti-development, anti-job creation and anti-Alaska decisions from Pres. Obama during his waning days in office. “First he removed the Beaufort and Chukchi seas from the five-year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lease plan. Then he locked up another 40,000 square miles in the Bering Strait area to future oil and gas leases. Finally, in his most egregious lame-duck move the President has decided to completely shut down one of Alaska’s largest potential economic drivers for future generations,” said Rebecca Logan, General Manager of the Alliance.

“We are gravely disappointed by President Obama’s decision to snub the will of the majority of Alaskans who support Arctic offshore development of our oil and gas resources. Our members and their tens of thousands of Alaskan employees are reeling in the face of low oil prices. Alaska’s Arctic, specifically the OCS, is estimated to hold some 34 billion barrels of oil and roughly 60 billion barrels of oil equivalent in natural gas. These resources represent Alaska’s largest untapped reserves, the development of which could create up to 55,000 jobs annually throughout the country. Politically motivated moves like this serve only to secure presidential “legacies” and appease outside special interest groups,” Logan said.

The Alliance strongly urges Congress to work with President-elect Trump to undo this disastrous decree beginning January 21, 2017.


To view and share the Alliance’s press release on this matter click here. 

December 20, 2016

Ty Hardt
Sr. Director of Communications
Desk (907) 339-6888
Mobile (907) 223-3253

ASRC Reacts to President’s Plan to Permanently Restrict Offshore Oil and Gas Development in Alaska’s Arctic
Controversial move disregards the views of those who call Alaska’s Arctic home

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation is strongly reacting to a plan from the Obama administration to permanently block the sale of new offshore drilling rights in Alaska’s Arctic as well as sections in the Atlantic, off the east coast. The plan calls for withdrawing additional acreage in the Arctic OCS planning areas using an ambiguous clause of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). The controversial announcement was made this afternoon from Washington D.C.

“We will fight this legacy move by the outgoing president with every resource at our disposal,” said Rex A. Rock Sr., ASRC president and CEO. “This decision will not stop our climate from changing, but it will inhibit our North Slope communities from developing the infrastructure, communications capability and technology necessary for growth. It’s a move which was made without any consultation from the largest private land owners in the U.S. Arctic and yet we will be the ones forced to live with the consequences.”

“It’s disappointing this administration would base much of its decisions regarding offshore oil and gas development on faulty assumptions,” added Crawford Patkotak, ASRC board chairman. “Today’s surprise announcement will have lasting negative effects across the U.S. Arctic without seeking input from those who call the region home.”

Reviews and procedures within OCSLA are strictly stated to ensure the protection of human, marine and coastal environments. Unfairly restricting oil and gas exploration, simply to suffice the climate change goals of the president and his supporters, endangers Alaskan jobs and the economic outlook of North Slope communities and the entire state of Alaska.

Today’s announcement follows Obama’s decision last month to cancel offshore lease sales through 2022 in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, blatantly ignoring feedback from Arctic residents and Alaska’s congressional delegation. Also in November, ASRC announced the purchase of federal offshore leases, formerly owned by Shell, in and near Camden Bay. Although the administration’s decision today does not directly affect these leases, it sets a precedent for future regulatory actions that could have a negative impact on responsible development in the Arctic.

A statewide poll, conducted in late October, shows Alaskans overwhelmingly support offshore oil and gas development in the state. More than two-thirds of Alaskans (76%) support offshore resource development and almost universally believe it has a big impact on their economy (88%).

About ASRC
Arctic Slope Regional Corporation is owned by and represents the business interests of the Arctic Slope Iñupiat. Since opening enrollment in 1989 to Alaska Natives born after 1971, the corporation’s shareholder base has nearly tripled, growing from the 3,700 original enrollees to around 13,000 today. Corporate headquarters are based in Barrow, Alaska, with administrative and subsidiary offices located in Anchorage and throughout the United States. ASRC, along with its family of companies, is the largest Alaskan-owned company, employing approximately 12,000 people worldwide. The company has six major business segments: petroleum refining and marketing, energy support services, industrial services, construction, government services and resource development.

To view and share ASRC’s press release on this matter click here. 

December 20, 2016

Contact: Sarah Erkmann, (907) 272-1481 or

AOGA: President Obama’s move to ban offshore Arctic oil and gas activity ignores Alaskans’ support for resource development

ANCHORAGE – Dec. 20, 2016- The Alaska Oil and Gas Association’s (AOGA) President & CEO Kara Moriarty released the following statement today in response to President Obama’s unilateral action to limit Arctic offshore oil and gas development:

“Today’s announcement is a stunning example of hypocrisy from President Obama. In his announcement about the Bering Sea just last week, he claimed he was listening to Alaskans when he established the ‘climate resilience’ area. Then today, his announcement ignores the 76 percent of Alaskans who support resource development in the Arctic offshore, and 72 percent of Alaska Natives, who say local opinions should matter the most on this issue. It is foolish to believe the United States can have a strong, successful economy in the Arctic without oil and gas development.”

Link to the new poll showing widespread support among Alaskans, including Alaska Natives, for oil and gas development in the Arctic:

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. More information about the organization can be found at, on Facebook (AlaskaOilAndGas), and twitter (@AOGA).

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To view and share AOGA’s press release on this matter click here.

Author: Hans Rodvik

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