Begich Receives Upbeat Report from Federal and Industry Officials on 2012 Oil Drilling Season
North Slope Borough Chief Administrative Officer Jacob Adams welcomed North Slope development but called for the sharing of revenue from offshore development which impacts the people of his region.
“Congress should act to ensure that royalty revenue received from OCS development is shared with local communities to help mitigate the negative impacts of development,” he said.
Begich has introduced revenue sharing legislation that would share the financial benefits of off-shore development with the state, local communities and affected tribes.
Edith Vorderstrasse, consulting division manager of Ukpea?vik Iñupiat Corporation, complimented Shell on its work with UIC shareholders. “We believe Shell has effectively engaged Inupiat communities because they have listened to their concerns, made meaningful changes to their plans and kept the promises they have made. As a result, Shell has formed a strong relationship with Alaska Native Corporations for this venture, but it should be much stronger.”
Vorderstrasse said the UIC board of directors is seeking additional effort in three main areas: impact assistance to local communities, long-term contracting opportunities and workforce development for shareholders.
Sen. Begich engaged officials on topics such as the infrastructure needs of increased Coast Guard operations in the Arctic, the need for better ice forecasting techniques, and current patterns and changes to Arctic weather. He also inquired to local community and business leaders about the increased activity.
Sen. Begich has proposed a number of bills in the Senate to promote Arctic development, including bills to increase the icebreaker capacity of the United States, strengthen the diplomatic role of the U.S. by appointing an Arctic ambassador, examine the health needs of residents of the Arctic, and provide a stream of funding for scientific research in the Arctic.