Along with that, I have a companion piece of legislation on how to pay for it, because I think it's important that when you talk about this legislation you need to make sure there's a way to pay for it. What we've done is, it's a resource of about three cents on the barrel of oil for domestic production, and seven cents for foreign oil production. The reason it's higher for foreign oil, to be very frank with you, I want to have less coming from foreign countries and more coming from our own country here, and especially in Alaska.
So my idea is to get the resources on the table, to make sure as we move forward on Arctic development of oil and gas that we have the Coast Guard and NOAA available and ready to be there, but also doing the research necessary to do it safely and do it for a long-term development that's going to benefit Alaska
Channel 2 News: How about BP's Liberty project? A lot of conservationists and environmentalists are saying, "Why don't we just wait? There's a big crisis in the gulf right now -- why don't we just wait a little bit?"
Begich: Well, first, I think that there's no question: the damage and the crisis down in the gulf is significant. But Alaska and the gulf are two different situations when you're talking about the development.
The Liberty project, as you know, it's been in development for many years. It has three layers -- it has the federal government, the state government and the North Slope Borough as reviewing that project to make sure it meets all the safety standards, making sure that they can do it in a safe and long-term manner. And I can tell you, especially having the North Slope Borough actively reviewing this project and issuing their permits that will be required, puts another layer of security that is just not there down in the gulf. So in a lot of ways, Alaska has multiple layers.
I think the Liberty project is a great project, it's a lot of great technology. Also, that pad that it's on is specifically designed, 30-plus acres, to ensure that if there is a safety issue, a spill, it is protected. So I think it's doing the right thing, the project -- we have a lot of safety, and a lot of oversight. The second thing I'll say on that is BP has said that they're probably going to wait until next year to do the actual drilling. So there is still time, and they've got a couple more permits, my understanding, still to produce on that project.