Where the Deer and the Drilling Rigs Play

Yesterday, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced an ambitious plan for both the development and protection of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (aka NPR-A). Released as the Final Integrated Activity Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, the plan covers both the development of oil drilling and pipelines in the reserve and protection for caribou, migratory birds, and other wildlife in the area. The plan is notable in that “[t]he Final IAP/EIS is the first management plan that covers the entire Reserve, including 9.2 million acres in the southwest area. Previous plans covered the northeast and northwest planning areas only. The comprehensive blueprint will allow for access to oil and gas resources on 11.8 million acres, which are estimated to hold 549 million barrels of economically recoverable oil and 8.7 trillion cubic feet of economically recoverable natural gas.”

Not everyone is on board – a few politicians claim the measures regarding pipeline construction aren’t detailed enough – but some environmental groups have expressed satisfaction with the final plan.

The full list of documents comprising the Final Integrated Activity Plan/Environmental Impact Statement can be found on the Bureau of Land Management website. (Scroll down to the heading “National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska Final Integrated Activity Plan/Environmental Impact Statement”.) The draft version of the plan, released back in March, is still available on the same webpage.

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