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National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska Letter to Congressional Committee Chairmen Transmitting Reports and Proposed Legislation.

January 28, 1980

Dear Mr. Chairman:

Pursuant to section 105 (b) of the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976, I am herewith transmitting a study report, with accompanying legislative recommendations, on procedures for the exploration and development of potentially significant petroleum resources of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. I am also transmitting a report by the Attorney General on the anticipated effects of the proposed legislation on competition, as required by section 106 of that Act.

The study report and the legislative recommendations represent a multiagency effort led by the Department of the Interior to examine alternative resource values and land uses within the 24-million acre Reserve. Extensive participation by the State of Alaska and other interested groups was encouraged.

The legislation I am transmitting provides that the Reserve be redesignated the Western Arctic Management Area and that it be managed under principles of multiple use as set forth in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. Existing restrictions on commercial exploration and development of oil and gas resources would be lifted in favor of an environmentally responsible leasing program. Special protection of important wildlife and other natural resources will be provided in the Colville River Valley, Utokok River and Uplands, Teshekpuk Lake, and Icy Cape/Kasegaluk Lagoon areas. An initial lease sale will be held within 20 months of enactment of the proposed legislation.

A more complete description of the important elements of the legislation is contained in Secretary Andrus' letter to me of January 16, 1980, which I am transmitting as an integral part of my recommendations.

This proposed legislation provides a sound and sensitive balancing of energy development with conservation of wildlife and other resources. In my judgment, oil and gas exploration and production from the Reserve can be achieved most quickly and at least cost to the Nation through a Federally managed leasing program. This legislation provides the authority for such a program while retaining appropriate protection for the fragile Arctic ecosystem. I urge early congressional action on the proposal.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to Henry M. Jackson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Morris K. Udall, chairman of the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.

Jimmy Carter, National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska Letter to Congressional Committee Chairmen Transmitting Reports and Proposed Legislation. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/249622

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