What is the Working Group and how was it formed?
The Deputy Secretary-level Working Group was established by Executive Order 13580, signed by the President on July 12, 2011, and works to coordinate the efforts of Federal agencies responsible for overseeing the safe and responsible development of onshore and offshore energy in Alaska. The goal of the group is to improve the efficiency of the Federal government, ensuring that resource development projects in Alaska comply with health, safety, and environmental protection standards while reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
What will the Working Group do?
The Executive Order specifically charges the Working Group with several functions, all designed to promote the safe, responsible, and efficient development of onshore and offshore energy in Alaska. The specific functions include:
- Facilitating orderly and efficient decision-making for permits and environmental reviews;
- Identifying opportunities for agencies to coordinate their permit decision and review schedules;
- Providing a forum for agencies to share application and project information, including timelines and milestones of their respective reviews;
- Identifying and sharing scientific and environmental information, including cultural and traditional knowledge, relevant to decision-making;
- Planning over the long term for issues such as oil spill prevention, preparedness and response and the development of onshore and offshore energy-related infrastructure;
- Coordinating Federal engagement with state, local, and tribal governments; and
- Collaborating on stakeholder outreach.