Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is planning a three-day trip to Alaska.
Salazar is preparing to decide whether to issue final drilling permits to Shell Oil, which hopes to drill exploratory wells this summer in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.
The department announcement on Salazar’s trip was mum on whether the secretary intends to make an announcement on Arctic offshore drilling in Alaska.
Shell still needs the Coast Guard to complete a review of an oil spill containment vessel before it can drill. The company also is seeking a waiver of requirements in the air permit it received from the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Interior Department says Salazar on Saturday and Sunday will tour the North Slope and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
- Gov. Bill Walker put a hold on an administrative order he issued in February, saying he needed more stakeholder feedback.
- Hundreds of people gathered Thursday at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve to celebrate the opening of a newly completed Huna Tribal House and the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary. But not everyone could make it. Tribal members and elected officials were stuck at the Juneau International Airport.
- "We’re all expecting to see this fiscal contraction and a reduction in economic indicators. But the reality is that what’s going on at the state level hasn’t hit the communities yet. It hasn’t hit Juneau yet," local analyst Meilani Schijvens says.
- Scattered throughout Alaska are hundreds of pieces of land that have been transferred to Alaska Native Corporations by the federal government.Some came with contamination. Getting them cleaned up has been a decades long process, and a new report catalogs those contaminated sites, but leaves some questions about who will orchestrate cleanup – and when.