Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan North Slope Borough Mayor Charlotte Brower have asked the Interior Department to include Alaskans in its review of Shell's offshore drilling program in the Arctic. The review was announced after a series of problems plagued Shell's 2012 Arctic operations, most recently the grounding of the drill rig Kulluk near Kodiak Island.
The federal probe makes sense, said Daniel Sullivan, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, and Charlotte Brower, mayor of the North Slope Borough, in a letter to Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes. But Alaskans should be a part of it, they stressed.
“Given the importance of this review to the future of the state and (the) North Slope Borough, we request that officials from the state and borough be included on the panel undertaking this review,” the pair said. “As residents of the Arctic we have a vested interest in the safety of future OCS operations and look forward to providing our expertise in this matter to assist your review.”
After all, they noted, state agencies and workers were a major part of the response to the Kulluk grounding “and have valuable expertise in operations and crisis management in Alaska’s unique environment.”