Bureau of Land Management • Coastal plain oil and gas leasing sale

Dena’ina Center • May 30, 2018 

Good evening. My name is Marleanna Hall, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. I am the executive director of the Resource Development Council for Alaska, but before and above that, I am a lifelong Alaskan. I am Inupiat originally from Nome. I believe the people of Alaska have a right to develop and manage lands in our state in a way that benefits all people and protects the environment. We can, and we do, do it right.

Moving on to my formal testimony tonight, RDC is a statewide trade association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s oil and gas, mining, forest products, fisheries and tourism industries, as well as the 12 land-owning Alaska Native corporations. RDC members are truly the life-blood of Alaska’s economy. We believe the best approach to expand the economy and generate new jobs is to produce more oil, attract more tourists, harvest more fish and timber, and mine more minerals. 

This historic moment, this time in our lives that we get to talk about the opportunity of opening up the non-Wilderness coastal plain to oil and gas leasing has been a long wait for Alaskans. 

Alaska has responsibly produced over 17 billion barrels of oil from the North Slope in almost 41 years. Fortunately, Alaska still has significant resources on the North Slope that can be developed, providing jobs and improving our economy for generations, as it has the last several decades. 

With advances in technology, and a projected need for oil production, Alaska will play a key role in supplying America, reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. All the while, without significant disturbance to wildlife, subsistence, or other use. In fact, wildlife populations on the North Slope have grown or remained stable with the last nearly five decades of activity.

[I would remind those listening tonight, the 1002 area of the coastal plain was set aside, in a compromise in ANILCA for responsible oil and gas exploration and development. Because, believe it or not, much of Alaska is already closed to development, and this small area of the coastal plain could play a vital role in reversing our recession and providing for Alaskans and our nation. * this section was not read due to time]

However, this is just the first step in a very long process, and should lease sales lead to development, I believe industry will strive to reduce its footprint even further, and keep to its long track record of responsible development. 

Thank you again for the opportunity to speak today, RDC will submit more detailed comments before the June 19thdeadline.