Alaska’s government is not preventing oil companies from drilling. The Alaskan government has endorsed drilling for oil and natural gas within the state boundries for quite some time. Unlike many states, Alaska has a Division of Oil and Gas (http://www.dog.dnr.alaska.gov/oil/) as part of their Department of Natural Resources. The two primary reasons why the Alaskan government seems to support oil drilling is the revenue that it brings to the state, both through taxes and the royalties gained from leasing the land to oil companies, half of which goes into the states General Fund and School Fund. Another, more political reason, is to provide domestic sources of fossil fuels, to decrease the U.S.’s dependency on foreign oil.
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