Deputy Secretary Hayes Outlines Administration’s Commitment to Science-Based Decision-Making in the Arctic


Contact: Melissa Schwartz (202) 208-3599

ANCHORAGE – In a speech to the Alaska Forum on the Environment today, Department of the Interior Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes and Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Policy Heather Zichal outlined a series of new initiatives aimed at bringing the best available science to energy-related decisions in the Arctic. The announcement today underscores the Obama Administration’s commitment to science-based decision-making in the Arctic’s sensitive environment.

“We are committed to a comprehensive, science-based approach to energy policy in the Arctic. These initiatives are part of the Administration’s commitment to continuing the expansion of safe and responsible production of our domestic resources,” said Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Policy Heather Zichal.

“We must draw on the best available science when making development decisions,” said Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes, who chairs the federal interagency working group established in July 2011 by President Obama to coordinate energy development in Alaska. “Today’s announcements demonstrate that collecting, synthesizing and delivering relevant information to decision-makers is a top priority for this Administration.”

The new initiatives outlined today follow recommendations laid out by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (ARC), and the President’s National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. They focus on the importance of continuing to gather new data on the Arctic and making it available for the decision-makers, for state, tribal and local officials, nongovernmental organizations, and for the general public.  

Today’s announcements include:

Chaired by Deputy Secretary Hayes, the interagency working group coordinates the efforts of federal agencies responsible for overseeing the safe and responsible development of onshore and offshore energy in Alaska. For more information, go to: