Michael O’Meara.

Michael O’Meara.

Point of View: Tell BOEM how you feel

It seems like BOEM should prioritize input from people most likely to be affected if leases are sold

Didn’t get the memo?

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has proposed a new National 2023-28 Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Plan. It includes Cook Inlet, from just off the mouth of Kachemak Bay and north into the Exclusive Economic Zone and Beluga Whale Critical Habitat. On Sept. 12 they had a virtual “hearing” for people to comment on it — 1 to 4 p.m.

Those of us who had to work couldn’t testify.

Unfortunately, this was the only hearing scheduled for the whole comment period. Why no other opportunities? How come no local meetings for Cook Inlet’s towns and villages? What about options for those of us with dicey or nonexistent Internet connections?

It seems like BOEM should prioritize input from people most likely to be affected if leases are sold — locals who depend on the fisheries, subsistence and the visitor industry. Why make it so difficult for us?

Maybe they don’t really want to hear from you and me.

Even so, we can still send written comments through Oct. 6. Tell BOEM how you feel about their latest plan. Tell them to extend the comment deadline. Ask them why we can’t have at least a couple of local meetings, one for people on the road system and another for village folks across the bay. Most of all let them know why Cook Inlet needs to be taken off the auction block forever.

Time is short. You’ll need Internet access to submit comments to one of these sites.

https://www.regulations.gov/commenton/BOEM-2022-0031-0001

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/07/08/2022-14524/notice-of-availability-of-the-2023-2028-national-outer-continental-shelf-oil-and-gas-leasing

During his 53 years in Alaska, Mike O’Meara has promoted sustainable use of our natural resources through science-based ecosystem management. He continues to advocate more effective regulatory oversight of resource extraction industries.

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