RDC comments on BOEM DEIS for the proposed Cook Inlet OCS oil and gas Lease Sale 258

December 13, 2021

Tyler Moore
Section Chief
BOEM, Alaska Regional Office
3801 Centerpoint Drive, Suite 500 
Anchorage, Alaska 99503-5823 


Re: BOEM DEIS for the proposed Cook Inlet OCS oil and gas Lease Sale 258

Dear Mr. Moore:

The Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc. (RDC) is writing to comment on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the proposed Cook Inlet Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas Lease Sale 258.

RDC is a statewide trade association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s fishing, forestry, mining, oil and gas, and tourism industries. RDC’s membership includes Alaska Native corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

RDC supports the proposed action addressed in the DEIS, to conduct an oil and gas lease sale on all available blocks in the northern portion of the Cook Inlet OCS Planning Area. Proposed Lease Sale 258 would provide qualified bidders with the opportunity to bid on OCS lease blocks in Cook Inlet to gain conditional rights to explore for, develop, and produce oil and natural gas.

The previously approved Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022 included one lease sale in the Cook Inlet Planning Area, designated Cook Inlet OCS Oil & Gas Lease Sale 258. The area identified for the potential sale consists of 224 blocks toward the northern part of the inlet, and covers approximately 1.09 million acres of seafloor, stretching roughly from Kalgin Island in the north to Augustine Island in the south. 

The importance of oil and gas to Alaska cannot be overstated. Oil production accounts for more than one-third of the economic activity in the state. It provides and funds thousands of private and public sector jobs, as well as critical public services. Alaskans agree that exploration, development, and production of offshore energy resources should move forward. In a 2014 poll, 73 percent of Alaskans supported Alaska’s OCS development.

Industry has shown that impacts to marine mammal subsistence activity can be avoided and mitigated through close cooperation and communication with primary subsistence users. Newly instituted technologies will further ensure that development and environmental protection can coexist.

For the benefit of Alaskans as well as businesses and consumers across the country, RDC respectfully urges BOEM to approve the DEIS for the proposed Cook Inlet OCS oil and gas Lease Sale 258. Reasonable regulation and advancing technologies ensure that development of these resources can proceed safely.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important issue.

Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.