Sen. Begich: Designate official to streamline drilling off Alaska's coast

Begich and other drill-state lawmakers have said the Obama administration is taking too long to approve key permits for drilling projects in the Arctic.

“I can best describe the situation as regulatory ‘Whack-a-Mole’ for developers in Alaska,” Begich said in a statement. “Each time we have one mole beat down, another one pops up and derails the progress. But this isn’t a game. It’s about the future of Alaska and the energy security of our country.”

Shell announced in February that it was abandoning plans to drill off the coast of Alaska. The move prompted Begich and other lawmakers to blame the Obama administration's drilling policies for preventing companies from accessing valuable reserves in the state.