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Alaska Governor Faults U.S. Rules on Petroleum Reserve

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell joined some oil industry officials in criticizing proposed rules issued by the U.S. Interior Department governing drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

Parnell said yesterday the new rules effectively withdraw millions of acres from potential drilling, and said the state would withdraw from an memorandum of understanding concerning the reserve.

The Interior Department said on Aug. 13 that wells will be allowed on 11.8 million acres that hold about 549 million barrels of oil, while coastal areas such as Peard Bay and Kasegaluk Lagoon, where seals and polar bears live, will get “special protection,” according to the statement from the agency.

The American Petroleum Institute trade group said the proposal “falls short of where we need to be.”

Parnell said the state’s recommendations were not incorporated into the proposed rules and asked the department to start over.

Spokesmen for the Interior Department didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment.

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