Frontier Areas—The Arctic



The Commission made 5 recommendations pertaining to drilling in frontier areas with particular emphasis on the Arctic.  In addition, Commissioner Reilly has been working to ensure that deep water drilling in Mexican or Cuban waters are eligible for US environmental and safety technologies in the event of accidents or spills.


There should be an immediate, comprehensive federal research effort to provide a foundation of scientific information on the Arctic.


A Regional Citizens Council should provide a voice for the Inupiat Eskimos of Alaska’s remote Arctic and Subarctic communities, so that these local citizens can actively participate in planning decisions.


The government should undertake a comprehensive interagency research program to address oil spill containment and response issues in the Arctic.  Congress should provide resources to establish Coast Guard response capabilities in the Arctic, based on the Coast Guard’s review of current and projected gaps in capacity.


The countries of the Arctic should establish strong international standards related to Arctic oil and gas activities.  Such standards would require cooperation and coordination of policies and resources.


Industry should contribute to the development of international standards for best practices.