Who knows what impact public comment ever has? You hope it matters, so you comment. That’s why this spring I and others wrote an array of federal officials to say that ConocoPhillips’ proposed development in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A) was in Alaska’s and the nation’s interests. When the US Army Corps of Engineers effectively blocked oil development there by denying a needed bridge permit, I was concerned. I spoke to my colleagues about writing a letter explaining that production was falling on the North Slope, and access to this area, reserved for oil development, was crucial to our efforts to stem and hopefully reverse the decline in North Slope oil production.