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Murkowski Applauds BLM’s Decision to Conduct Review of Proposed Alaskan Oil and Gas Development

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on Wednesday lauded the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to issue a Notice of Intent to conduct an environmental review for a proposed oil and gas development project in Alaska.

“I am extremely pleased BLM is taking this vital first step toward additional development in the NPR-A. The initiation of the permitting process for the GMT-2 project builds on the success we have all fought for and achieved in recent years,” Murkowski said in a statement.

However, Murkowski voiced concerns about permitting and mitigation delays she said could slow down a season of development. She referenced a July 14 letter sent to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell voicing concerns on BLM’s processing times.

“That is why I led a delegation letter expressing our concerns to Interior Secretary Jewell just two weeks ago. Alaskans must continue to work closely with BLM to ensure a thorough and prompt review is conducted, and encourage the agency to grant timely permits for development in NPR-A and throughout our state,” Murkowski added.

BLM’s timeliness on processing has been a recent concern of congressional members. Earlier on Wednesday, more than 55 members of Congress said the time BLM takes to process pending right-of-way permits to construct pipelines is generally much longer than the 60-day period BLM aims to meet.