JUNEAU, Alaska — The state of Alaska is taking the next step in trying to advance a multiyear plan aimed at determining the oil and gas potential in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
It’s a proposal that Interior Secretary Sally Jewell recently dismissed as prohibited under federal law and something that would require congressional authorization.
Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan said under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the secretary must approve an exploration plan if it meets the necessary requirements. He and Gov. Sean Parnell argue the plan proposed by the state does.
Jewell, in a letter to Parnell dated June 28, said the exploration authorization expired in the 1980s. Sullivan said that’s not his read, and the responsibility will be on the federal government to prove there was some sunset.