Alaska has filed a legal petition to counter a moratorium on deepwater drilling in Arctic federal waters.
The petition filed in the US District Court in Anchorage says the moratorium was arbitrarily and capriciously imposed without considering and weighing the potential effects on Alaska, including economic harm to the state of Alaska and Alaskan residents.
Alaska Governor Sean Parnell said the petition was filed to ensure that the federal government abides by applicable federal law, including its legal responsibility to make the Outer Continental Shelf available for expeditious and orderly development, reports Reuters.
The Interior Department said there is no drilling ban in the federal waters of Alaska, but a cautious approach is being taken to strengthen the safety and oversight of offshore oil and gas operations in the Arctic, which has unique environmental challenges.
Moreover, a court ruling has also blocked drilling in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea in the near future.