U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines underscored the importance of states taking the lead in both protecting the environment and energy development.
During yesterday’s U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on the potential for oil and gas exploration and development in the non-wilderness portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Daines remarked on the important of states defining their own future, not out of state bureaucrats.
“It’s a bit arrogant for folks in Washington, D.C. – folks who are a long ways away from Alaska – to be in some way dictating what Alaskans want to do,” Daines stated.
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During the hearing, Daines spoke with Lieutenant Governor Mallot, “Like Alaska, Montana is home to a vibrant outdoor economy. We also are home to millions of acres of public land and wilderness. It is my understanding that Alaska has over 56 million acres of wilderness, or about 15% of the total acres, and hundreds of millions of addition federal land, totaling about 60%. Some of this federal land is suitable for hiking, some for snowmobiling, some should be left as wilderness. But some is suitable for timber production and others for mining or oil and gas production. It is important that we don’t lock up land solely for the purpose of locking up land. But instead we should take a balanced approach. Do you believe that we are taking a balanced approach by opening up Section 1002 to production, and allowing Alaska and all Americans benefit from the revenue and security generated on this land,” Daines asked.
Mallot responded by emphasizing the importance between balancing energy development and the environment.