President Biden and the Department of Interior announced their final five-year plan today for offshore oil and gas leasing in federal waters from 2023 through 2028. The plan includes 3 lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and no new lease sales in Lower Cook Inlet.
“Alaskans have been fighting the industrialization of Cook Inlet for decades and today’s announcement is a victory for our communities that rely on the Inlet,” said Sue Mauger with Cook Inletkeeper. “We are filled with gratitude for all Inletkeepers who spoke up, testified, donated, talked to friends or neighbors, wrote op-eds, or advocated for our Inlet.”
Alaskans have been fighting the industrialization of Cook Inlet for decades. In the 1970s, Alaskans stood up and protected Kachemak Bay in Lower Cook Inlet from oil and gas development, allowing for today’s homegrown thriving tourism economy. New oil & gas exploration and development in Cook Inlet will only take time and effort away from the acceleration of a new energy economy. Future leasing will do nothing to solve the more immediate Cook Inlet gas crisis; we need real energy solutions for Alaska.
“Although we are relieved that Lower Cook Inlet is off the chopping block for now, Cook Inletkeeper stands in solidarity with frontline Gulf of Mexico communities fighting fossil fuel development,” said Bridget Maryott with Cook Inletkeeper. “The Biden administration missed a critical opportunity to combat climate change when it included the Gulf of Mexico in the 5-year oil & gas leasing plan. By locking Americans into decades of increased fossil fuel production, while the climate crisis rages on, this administration has failed to deliver on its promises of environmental justice and climate action by needlessly putting our future at risk for the sake of oil & gas profits.”
In December 2022, Earthjustice filed a lawsuit – with plaintiffs Cook Inletkeeper, Alaska Community Action on Toxics, Center for Biological Diversity, Kachemak Bay Conservation Society and Natural Resources Defense Council – challenging last year’s oil & gas Lease Sale 258 in Lower Cook Inlet contending that agencies failed to meaningfully account for climate impacts or find alternatives to result in the least harm to the climate, marine life, and Cook Inlet communities.
Cook Inletkeeper is a community-based organization, founded in 1995, with a mission to protect the Cook Inlet watershed and the life it sustains.
Contact: Bridget Maryott • email@example.com