United States Capitol Building

Besides affecting AFN delegates’ and Melanie Bahnke’s scheduled conversations with government employees, the shutdown impacted Kawerak’s Board Chairman, Frank Katchatag, who was slated to speak at a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management public meeting today. This one BOEM proposed public meeting to be held in Alaska, regarding the National OCS program, is now postponed.

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Offshore oil rig, viewed in the distance from the shore with waves crashing in the foreground

In a reversal of Obama-era policy, a new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management proposal would open nearly all the Outer Continental Shelf of the United States to oil and gas exploration. The draft proposal recommends 19 lease sales be held in Alaska, 11 of them in areas not considered for oil and gas leasing in decades or ever before. That doesn’t sit well with regional organizations like Kawerak.

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