WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure (AII) has issued a new report exploring the impact and economic benefits created by infrastructure development in the Arctic.
Entitled, “Arctic Promise: Challenges and Opportunities in Realizing the Next Generation of U.S. Arctic Infrastructure,” the report emphasizes the role that the oil and gas industry has historically played in developing the economy of the region.
“Arctic offshore oil and gas activity – if allowed – would bring sufficient physical and financial resources to the region to support … major infrastructure investments, plus an estimated $19 billion in state and local revenues,” the report noted.
It directly addressed theObama administration’s ban on Arctic development in a 115-mi (185-km) section of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, saying it will have a “chilling effect on capital investment, significantly threatening the viability of critical infrastructure projects.”
The report concludes by arguing for the importance of the new administration addressing the ban quickly: “The prospects of offshore oil and gas development serving as a catalyst for the creation of new infrastructure in the Arctic in the near term, therefore rests on whether or not the Trump administration, and to a lesser extent the 115th Congress, chooses to prioritize the issue.
“This is likely the single biggest issue in determining whether and how extensively the next generation of infrastructure in the US Arctic can be realized.”
In response to this report, Lucas Frances, spokesperson for the Arctic Energy Center issued the following statement:
“As this report makes abundantly clear, enabling oil and gas development is the most effective means of encouraging private sector investment in America’s Arctic. The infrastructure priorities highlighted in the AII report will be extremely challenging, if not impossible, to deliver without lifting the shackles of the Arctic energy ban.
“Given the clear synergies with President Trump’s promise to facilitate new infrastructure development, we hope the White House will recognize the importance of the issue and prioritize overturning the Obama administration’s ban on offshore activity and spur new investment.”