Anchorage Representative Charisse Millett is continuing to applaud the recent announcement by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski that she’s secured $50 million for the cleanup of abandoned oil wells in and around the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska
The Anchorage Republican said that as Alaskans we all want to preserve and protect the arctic wilderness and we can thank Senator Murkowski for her efforts to get the well sites plugged and remediated, noting that this may be the start of a concerted effort to halt the environmental damage caused by the wells.
The remediation funds were inserted into an existing piece of legislation by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, of which Murkowski is the ranking member of the committee.
This year the Alaska Legislature unanimously passed House Joint Resolution 6. It renames the sites “travesty wells” to reflect decades of neglect, poor stewardship and environmental mismanagement by BLM.
Over a 37 year period, the federal government drilled 136 oil exploration wells in NPR-A. Since drilling activity stopped in 1981 only a handful of wells have been plugged according the standards set by the State of Alaska. Wells are leaking oil natural gas and trash and construction debris covers many of the sites.
Governor Parnell is set to sign HJR 6 this week in Anchorage.