Alaska sues over oil drilling

2010-09-10 10:30

Anchorage - Alaska's governor says the state is suing to overturn the federal suspension of offshore drilling in Arctic Ocean waters.

In May, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar suspended Shell Oil's request to drill exploratory wells in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, and he cancelled four Arctic lease sales.

Governor Sean Parnell said Salazar illegally failed to consult with state officials, consider the economic effects or issue a written decision explaining the basis for a moratorium.

Salazar spokesperson Kendra Barkoff said the Interior Department is taking a cautious approach to offshore petroleum development. She said the Arctic presents unique environmental challenges and the department needs additional information about spill risks and spill response capabilities.