U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar urging the department to quickly release a review schedule with real deadlines for Shellâ€™s Exploration Plan for the Chukchi Sea in 2012. Begich commends Interior for last weekâ€™s announcement of new lease sales in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas as part of the 2012-17 Outer Continental Shelf Lease Plan, but says Shell has practical and logistical deadlines that need certainty.
“Without quick progress on Shell Exploration and Production Company’s Plan of Exploration for the Chukchi Sea in 2012, promises of future lease sales will ring hollow to Alaskans,” Begich writes.
“I urge you to quickly release a review schedule with hard deadlines so Shell and many of the other companies involved can mobilize resources in time to make 2012 Chukchi exploration a reality.”
The full letter can be seen here. [PDF]