|Outer Continental Shelf Comments
Northwest Technical Services - Mary Shields, General Manager
I am writing in support of full oil and gas leasing on OCS acreage.
Northwest Technical Services has been in business in Alaska for over 25 years and has watched carefully the way the oil and gas industry works in Alaska. We know that the industry has established a strong track record for developing our oil and gas resources without compromising Alaska’s Arctic environment both onshore and offshore.
We support this leasing because, as citizens of Alaska and the United States, we do not believe that our country can continue to be extraordinarily dependent on foreign oil a dependency which costs the country many billions of dollars each year, and thousands of jobs as well. OCS leasing is not just about the direct industry jobs lost in Alaska jobs that keep our economy flowing in this time of reduced economic activity but loss of industry jobs in the other states including manufacturing, oil field supply companies, equipment, machinery, etc. Add to this, the loss of indirect jobs found in retail stores, dealerships, aviation, and too many other areas to mention.
Further reduced in our Alaskan community (and other communities) will be support for education (scholarships as well as endowments), the performing arts, hands on work with The United Way, Standing Together Against Rape (STAR), little league teams, and other activities too numerous to mention. This support is not just monetary. It is Alaskans working within the industry and those in the indirect jobs give fully of their time and energy to make our state a wonderful community in which to live. If the jobs are gone, so are the people.
As you are aware from the testimony that you have received, both orally and in writing, the amount of oil moving down the Trans-Alaska pipeline has declined by more than two-thirds since its peak. With the probability that the OCS could boost oil production by a million barrels a day, the life of the pipeline would be extended and the dependency on foreign oil would be lessened. Further, the possibility of a significant gas discovery is also of great importance to the United States in its quest for “greener” energy to power our nation. While reduced dependence on carbon based fuels is a goal, we have a long way to go and America can not afford to rely on other countries to keep our “plant” going.