Home > newsroom > Page
Murkowski, Hastings Press NOAA, BSEE About Arctic Protests
Letters Demand Answers to Why No Permits, Impact Studies are Required for Greenpeace Protest Activities in the Arctic

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 13, 2012 - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Washington, sent a letter to Dr. Jane Lubchenco, the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and James Watson, Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), asking what measures NOAA and BSEE have taken to ensure that the planned protest activities in the Arctic by Greenpeace do not disrupt or threaten safe operations, disturb marine mammals or interfere with anticipated Native Alaskan subsistence efforts.

“We share your concern for ensuring proper oversight of oil and gas operations on the Outer Continental Shelf,” Murkowski and Hastings wrote. “In that regard, we want to be sure that you have the resources, are planning and prepared to respond to the steps that Greenpeace is planning to impede exploratory drilling operations in arctic waters off the north coast of Alaska.”

Greenpeace is attempting to protest and “monitor” Shell’s activities by interfering with permitted work in the Arctic through the usage of a 216 foot ice class ship, two large rigid hull and four small inflatables, two submarines, and an aerial drone. Murkowski and Hastings are concerned that federal agencies have not accounted for the likelihood that Greenpeace’s activities will cause disturbance to marine mammals, pollution to the environment, or conflict with Native Alaskans through the physical presence of vessels.

“NOAA’s and BSEE’s analysis of planned oil and gas exploration in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas has devoted extraordinary and unprecedented attention to the potential impacts of vessels and other activities,” they wrote. “Though the potential for impacts is similar, there has been no such analysis or permitting of the planned protest activities or the operation of the vessels participating in them. In addition to the environmental problems presented by the protest fleet, it seems that there are special dangers in having multiple submarines operated by different parties in and around drilling operations.”

Murkowski is the Ranking Member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. Hastings is the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

The letters are attached.

###

Printable PDF of this document


Contact: Robert Dillon (Murkowski) or Spencer Pederson (Hastings) 202-224-6977 (Murkowski) or 202-226-9019 (Hastings)

Latest News

Chairman Bishop’s Opening Statement for Full Committee Markup of H.R. 5278

Today, during the Committee’s markup on H.R. 5278 (Rep. Sean Duffy), the “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA),” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) delivered the following s...... Read more

National Park Service Chief Misled Inspector General Investigators, Lied to Interior Secretary and Promoted Other Agency Violators

Today, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held an oversight hearing on the “Culture of Corruption” at the Department of the Interior (DOI). During the hearing, Mary Kendall, DOI Deputy I...... Read more

OP-ED: PROMESA Promises Hope for Puerto Rico and Its Investors

OP-ED: PROMESA Promises Hope for Puerto Rico and Its Investors By Rep. Rob Bishop & Rep. Sean Duffy Chapter 9 bankruptcy isn’t the only option for Puerto Rico With great power comes great responsibil...... Read more

View All News

Calendar

Full Committee Markup
Full Committee | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
Exploring 21st Century Mining Safety, Environmental Control, and Technological Innovation
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
View All Events