Congressman Lowenthal Slams Interior Dept Move To Open Alaskan Wilderness To Oil And Gas Development

June 25, 2020
Press Release

Congressmen Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), today, issued the following statement regarding the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the Integrated Activity Plan (IAP), for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).

“This final EIS from the Department of Interior (DOI) for the NPR-A, is yet another giveaway to the oil and gas industry at the expense of the environment, public heath, indigenous populations, and our climate. This management plan is not the result of a scientifically rigorous process, nor robust comment period, but rather a fait accompli predetermined by the goals of the oil and gas industry.

“After a rushed public comment period during the COVID-19 pandemic, plagued by technical difficulties, and operated in a way that minimized meaningful participation of rural communities, DOI has produced a plan harmful to wildlife and the local ecosystem around the fragile Teshpuk Lake Special Area as well as unduly impacts local native populations and contributes even further to the climate crisis. This decision runs counter to everything that the DOI and BLM should be working for—namely the best interests of the American people.”

In January 2020, Congressman Lowenthal co-led a letter with House Natural Resources Committee (HNRC) Chair Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03) and Congressman Jared Huffman (CA-02), joined by 45 House colleagues to DOI Secretary David Bernhardt calling for the DOI to reverse recent administration moves to open vast areas of Alaskan wilderness to oil and gas development.

Click here to read the full text of the letter.