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Juneau – As his first legislative action since assuming office, Representative Dean Westlake (D-Kotzebue) Wednesday introduced House Joint Resolution 5 urging the United States Congress to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development. HJR 5 further urges the United States Department of the Interior to recognize the private property rights of owners of land in and adjacent to ANWR relating to oil and gas exploration, development, production, and royalties; and relating to renewable and alternative energy technologies.
“For too long, the federal government has locked up Alaska’s resources with little to no regard for the people who live and work in these potentially highly productive and lucrative areas,” said Rep. Westlake. “This resolution sends a strong message that the time is now to open these lands for exploration to benefit not only the residents of the North Slope, but also the state of Alaska as a whole as we face difficult economic times.”
Rep. Westlake says he looks forward to working with fellow state lawmakers and the federal government to unlock the economic potential of ANWR by allowing for the exploration and possible development of the region’s vast oil and gas reserves.