Sullivan slaps silly Post editorial

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan took the Washington Post to task the other day a recent editorial opposing future oil development of 2,000 acres in ANWR’s 1002 area.

In an opinion piece dissecting a ridiculous knee-jerk Post editorial opposing the development, Sullivan said it would create jobs, spur the economy and protect the global environment. It also would strengthen our national security and foreign policy.

“The Post’s editorial board recycled stale, 40-year-old talking points without adding a single voice from the vast majority of Alaskans — Democrats and Republicans — who support the development,” he wrote. “In so doing, The Post failed to include a serious discussion about new technologies and environmental safeguards that would greatly limit the footprint of development in the area.

“Indeed, the fundamental disconnect in this debate about developing ANWR’s coastal plain, mirrored in The Post’s editorial, is that the debate has not kept up with Alaska’s world-class environmental standards or advancements in technology.”

Sullivan oversaw Alaska’s environmental standards as the state’s Department of Natural Resources from 2010 to 2013.

“Our state has a 50-year record of responsible resource development and no “impact exploration,” meaning that we mandate the best available technology and require the protection of our incredible species, such as polar bears and caribou, ” Sullivan wrote in the op-ed piece.

The Post, like many who would thwart ANWR development, tramples the truth to make false points. Everything from portraying the barren, wind-blown coastal plain as “the Serengeti of the Arctic,” to running films of beautiful mountain areas and pretending they are in the development area. The wildlife destruction claims they routinely make are akin to the same nonsense offered during construction of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline – and they simply never materialized.

“The Post editorial,” Sullivan notes, “says that the coastal area of ANWR is a ‘zone’ that is ‘off-limits to development.’ That’s simply not true. In fact, this area was specifically set aside by Congress in 1980 in the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act for potential oil and gas development, and previous Interior secretaries have said that it should be developed.

“The editorial also fails to mention that an area within the same ecosystem is already in development for oil and gas. For the past four years, the Point Thomson field on the North Slope — only two miles from the western border of the 1002 area — has been producing energy, with minimal impact on the environment and wildlife.”

There is no doubt Alaska can development that postage-size piece of plain in a safe, environmentally sensitive manner. It is good that Sullivan apprised the Post’s editors of that and did it so well.



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