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Alaska Chamber statement on Obama’s Arctic drilling ban

Anchorage, AK – Alaska Chamber President and CEO Curtis W. Thayer today issued a statement condemning President Obama’s unprecedented decision to deny future development of Alaska’s arctic waters.

“Earlier this afternoon, the president issued an 11th hour decision that indefinitely closes the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas to energy development,” said Thayer. “Obama claims that this action is good for Alaska, that he’s doing it for our benefit. But if you talk to the people that live on our Arctic waters – and I have – you’ll know just how far that is from true.”

The State of Alaska is currently struggling with a sizable budget deficit, fueled in part by recent declines in global oil prices. Arctic oil and gas development are key components to Alaska’s economic health, self-determination and the growth of our coastal communities.

Thayer said, “We’ve been polled half to death on this issue, and every time Alaskans turn out overwhelmingly in favor of OCS development. This is our home, and no one has a greater interest seeing it protected than the people who live here. For a president to slap Alaska communities with a cynical ban on jobs, infrastructure and growth shows just how little this administration cares about Alaska.”

The Chamber supports sustainable, environmentally-conscious economic growth in Alaska and opposes President Obama’s decision to designate the waters in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas as indefinitely off limits to offshore oil and gas leasing. The Chamber will work with congress, Alaska’s federal delegation and the incoming presidential administration to reverse this unilateral decree.


About the Alaska Chamber
The Alaska Chamber, a private, non-profit corporation, operating since 1952, works to promote a positive business environment in Alaska. The Chamber is the voice of small and large business representing hundreds of businesses, manufactures and local chambers from across Alaska. Our member companies employ over 100,000 hard-working Alaskans. For more information visit

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