"Arctic Power's efforts could very well make the difference between ANWR legislation passing or not passing. This is a critical time in the history of the debate on ANWR."
- Rep. Kohring
(JUNEAU) - House Bill 32, appropriating $1.2 million to Arctic Power for promoting opening of the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil and gas exploration was signed into law by Governor Frank Murkowski on Tuesday, May 17th.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Vic Kohring (R-Wasilla/Mat-Su), Chairman of the House Special Committee on Oil & Gas, was approved by the Legislature in late April with near unanimous support and then forwarded to the Governor for his signature.
Arctic Power will use the funding for marketing purposes to help secure the necessary votes in Congress to pass legislation that would authorize exploration, drilling and production of oil and gas in ANWR.
"With an estimated 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the refuge, the stakes are high," said Kohring. "Arctic Power's efforts could very well make the difference between ANWR legislation passing or not passing. This is a critical time in the history of the debate on ANWR."
Kohring noted his support for Arctic Power's recent efforts to streamline operations, including eliminating unneeded positions in its Anchorage office, so it may focus its resources in Washington, D.C. where they are most needed. In addition, Kohring said he encourages Arctic Power to continue raising private dollars to supplement its budget, something it has actively done in the past.
Kohring added, "I appreciate the Governor signing this bill into law, and for his strong leadership on the issue. This was a team effort involving the Legislature and Governor, and I'm optimistic it will yield good results for Alaska."