Congress and Governor candidate Q & A: Oil and gas federal oversight

The Anchorage Daily News asked candidates in statewide elections their views on a variety of issues. We're posting their responses between now and Election Day. See each candidate's full list of answers by clicking on their mug shot in the right column. Are you satisfied with the level of federal environmental regulation and oversight of offshore oil and gas drilling and shipping to prevent a major spill in Alaska? If not, what do you want to see changed?


Tim Carter


Yes, but the key to safe drilling is vigilant inspections and more federal enforcements of the standards we already have.

Ted Gianoutsos

On ballot by petition as no-party candidate, registered as (founding member) Veterans Party of Alaska

It could always be better, especially with the lessons learned from the Gulf spill.

Fredrick "David" Haase


In general I see little need for the Federal Government protecting the environment and more need for Locals and States to step to the plate the Feds should only advise. The thought that big government can protect better than people close to the problem makes no sense. Which brings up the question in my mind why no counties in Alaska? Counties are far better at regulating environmental issues because they are closest to the problem.

Scott McAdams


I am satisfied with the level of federal environmental regulation and oversight and would not support more stringent measures. We have the highest environmental standards in the world, as we should, and the best production capabilities. I do support increased spill prevention techniques such as acoustic triggers and we must create a strong Coast Guard presence in the Arctic for oil spill prevention and response.

Joe Miller


The federal government has a role in ensuring our offshore oil and gas exploration is done safely and in an environmentally conscientious way. However, I did not support the drilling moratorium, which encompassed the relatively shallow water drilling exploration planned in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The drilling there takes place at much lower pressures and at approximately 200 feet, not over a mile beneath the ocean level.

Lisa Murkowski

Republican Write-in

I am satisfied that the very limited amount of exploratory drilling scheduled for 2011 can be done safely, and of course, we will need to be constantly improving our safeguards against a spill. I recently helped the Energy Committee unanimously pass a bill to improve offshore drilling safety based on lessons learned in the Gulf, and I would pursue many of those reforms in addition to administrative changes to allow better spill response capabilities.


Harry Crawford


No. I want to be assured that any blowout will be contained, period. I do not believe that drilling in the Arctic can be business as usual. It has to be done with safety as the #1 priority with unbiased eyes watching every step. I believe offshore oil and gas development is a part of our future but it has to be done right.

Don Young


Federal regulatory oversight seems to have been a contributing factor to the recent tragedy in the Gulf. However, in Alaska, we have the best oil response capabilities in the world as a result of the lessons learned from the Exxon Valdez spill. Industry, federal regulators, and the public, through the RCAC's, have taken a mutual role in ensuring that the utmost protections are in place in Alaska, and that we're ready should a tragedy occur.


Ethan Berkowitz


No, I am not confident about the adequacies of our ability to oversee offshore oil and gas development. We need a better infrastructure in place including improved communications and forward positioning of spill response capability to enhance our ability to respond. If we don't take this responsibility, we are dependent on federal government action.

Sean Parnell


Yes, Alaska leads the world in spill prevention and response. Still we have to remain vigilant, constantly training, constantly upgrading equipment, and learning from disasters elsewhere.