Mark Begich’s Energy Woes In Alaska

The Anchorage Daily News reported today that Shell’s decision to put its plans to drill in the Arctic on hold has dealt a political blow to Mark Begich, who had a lot riding on the company starting to drill in the Arctic this year. Begich even had to take down a radio ad where he bragged about how Shell was going to be drilling in the Arctic.

Here’s a portion of the radio ad Begich released earlier this year where he mentions his efforts expand drilling and mining in the Arctic.

BEGICH: “And next year, Shell Oil is coming back to the Arctic Ocean, bringing new and upgraded drill ships so we can finally start drilling after decades of waiting.”

Just earlier this week in a telephone town hall on February 11, 2014, Begich claimed that Shell was still moving forward in the Arctic.

BEGICH: “The issue about ANWR or oil and gas exploration. You know, we’ve been aggressive about getting the Arctic open. Now I tell you, five years ago, people told me it’d never happen, Begich don’t waste your time, the Obama administration is going to lock us up tighter than a drum. And I said well, we’ll see about that. What’s happening now? Even though Shell had a setback earlier this year, they are moving forward. The Arctic is going to be drilled in. There’s an enormous amount of oil and gas there that’s going to come through our pipeline and start filling the pipeline. Matter of fact, it’s federal lands that’s going to be filling that pipeline versus the state because I don’t know what the state is doing, they seem to not be able to get moving on any project when it comes to oil and gas. But we are moving forward on the Shell development in the Arctic. Along with that we resolved the longstanding issues on what they call CD-5 in the National Petroleum Reserve. This is the first, they are mobilizing this year, ConocoPhillips, to start the first production. We are now working with them to get two more wells in development, which will produce, I think around the three of them, 47,000 barrels give or take there, of oil a day to the pipeline. So we’re moving forward, those are creating some jobs. They don’t get a lot of highlight out there because the press is always out there looking for the big home run. Well we’re getting base hits to complete the game and win the game, that’s what we’re doing. I see some great progress there.”