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Begich Tough on Obama

Fights for Alaska oil and gas development in CNN interview


ICYMI: U.S. Senator Mark Begich called out President Obama last night for his lack of Alaska issues in his State of the Union speech. Begich called on President Obama to promote Alaska’s oil and gas interests as a way to grow our economy, move towards energy independence and create thousands of Alaska jobs.

Begich pushed for President Obama to unlock Alaska’s energy potential and create thousands of jobs by moving forward on Alaska oil and gas development:

“What I’d like [President Obama] to do is see why his policies are wrong on ANWR for example. He opposes oil and gas development. I’d like to show him why it’s the right move to move that forward and create jobs in oil and gas. He talked about energy a little bit tonight. But we have it right there, a storehouse of energy. I’d like to be able to show him some of the issues that we’ve battled with the federal government on and try to get his policies changed that directly affect us.”

Begich called on President Obama to drop threats to Alaska’s oil and gas industry and find common ground on an energy package:

“I heard it over and over again for the last five years on oil and gas tax incentives. [President Obama] wants to deal with that again. He wants to eliminate them. In Alaska, we’re not interested in that. That’s been played for the last five years. Let’s figure out if he wants to work on an energy package where the common ground is and let’s move forward.”

Begich outlined his successful fight with President Obama to allow Shell to move forward with plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea this summer:

“We’ve had our differences as you know on oil and gas and arctic oil exploration. We’ve had some tug of war. We’ve had to really had to push him a long ways to get him to agree to move forward on what we think is an incredible oil and gas discovery opportunity, thousands of jobs coming for Alaska.”

Begich expressed a serious concern with the President’s desire to govern with executive orders to avoid finding common ground with Congress:

“You’ve gotta be very careful about how far you extend those executive powers… you’ve gotta come down and work with us.”

The full interview is available here.