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September 30, 2016 ANCHORAGE – Governor Bill Walker, Lt. Governor Byron Mallott and Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack met this week with members of the Obama administration to request that Alaska remain in the five-year outer-continental shelf plan. Governor Walker and Commissioner Mack also met with the Ambassadors of Japan and Qatar to discuss the gasline project.
“With oil prices and production down, Alaska must be focused on the long game,” Governor Walker said. “The trans-Alaska oil pipeline is three-quarters empty. When Alaska became a state, we were told to live off of our resources. We just need access to them.”
Governor Walker, Lt. Governor Mallott and Commissioner Mack met with U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Abigail Ross Hopper, Bureau of Land Management Director Neil Kornze and other members of the Interior Department. They also met at the White House with President Barack Obama’s Senior Advisor Brian Deese and other White House staffers to request that Alaska’s interests be prioritized as the Administration transitions out. Governor Walker and Commissioner Mack, who flew into Washington, D.C., directly after their gasline meetings in Singapore and Korea, also briefed the federal officials on what they had heard from the Asia-Pacific market—which comprises 70 percent of the world’s liquefied natural gas consumer base.
“I thank the Obama administration for expressing continued support of the gasline project,” Governor Walker said. “Federal backing is important as we engage with the market on this project.”
Lt. Governor Mallott was in the nation’s capital for several other events, including the White House Tribal Nations Conference and the Arctic Indigenous Peoples meeting—prior to his role at the White House Arctic Science Ministerial, where leaders from around the globe discussed pooling science resources to better understand the rapid changes in the Arctic and what those changes mean for other regions.