By Libby Casey
Alaska Republican Congressman Don Young says he’s concerned Shell might walk if the company’s permits to drill in the Arctic don’t move forward – and then he says Alaska will eventually face a Trans-Alaska Pipeline without enough oil.
That puts shell in a big box, because of the investment, and I did talk to the Secretary today. I expressed my dissatisfaction very calmly, I said I thought it was inappropriate. He tried to say, and I take his word, that this is a pause button. And because of the hysteria of the spill in the Gulf that there had to be something done. And I’m not blaming Obama about the spill. I’m one of the few people who’s not blaming the administration. I don’t think… the finger pointing that’s occurring in this situation is not beneficial to anyone. We should learn from it.
Young says the focus right now should be on helping the fishermen and other people in the Gulf whose livelihoods are being affected. He still maintains, however that this is not so bad to be called a “disaster.” Today a federal panel of scientists said this is the worst spill in American history, surpassing the Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound.
But Young says his biggest concern is what it will mean for the economy.
What worries me more then the Arctic is the shutoff in the Gulf. That’s 40% of our oil. And the cost of jobs, just by putting moratorium on drilling humongous. And that area can’t afford that. And gas will go to about $4.50 this summer.
Young says Congress should write strong legislation to tighten safety rules in deep water drilling.