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U.S. allows drilling in half of Alaska reserve

The Obama administration announced the first comprehensive plan to manage the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

The Obama administration this week announced the first comprehensive plan to manage the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, allowing for new drilling on roughly half of the nearly 23 million acres, but restricting exploration and production on the rest. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s compromise, which also allows for the possibility of a pipeline across the protected part of the reserve, drew praise from environmentalists and criticism from oil and gas proponents who want the entire reserve opened for exploration. “This decision denies U.S. taxpayers both revenue and jobs at a time when our nation faces record debt and chronic unemployment,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

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