Begich to federal agencies: Get your act together on offshore drilling

“This office would have authority to work across the agencies causing Alaska so much heartburn today--the EPA, Army Corps of Engineers and Interior Department,” Begich said.

“The Federal OCS [outer continental shelf] coordinator would work with the State of Alaska and affected local governments to streamline development in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, which hold such promise for future oil and gas development,” he added.

The bill would also expedite judicial review of challenges to EPA and Interior Department permits.

Begich signaled in a speech last month that the legislation was in the works.