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Natural Resources Committee
U.S. Rep. Don Young, Ranking Member
1329 Longworth H.O.B.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Contacts: Steve Hansen (Republican Communications Director) (202) 225-7749 May 7, 2008
Despite Record High Gas Prices, Democrats Again Vote To Stop ANWR Oil Production; Democrats Vote To Keep 10.4 Billion Barrels Of American Oil Locked Up in Alaska's Arctic
Washington, D.C. - Even though Americans are paying record-high gas prices throughout the country, Democrats today voted to once again stop the production of 10.4 billion barrels of oil in a small section of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
The Democratic anti-ANWR vote was to an amendment offered by U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) in the House Natural Resources Committee. Young's amendment lost by a 12-18 vote, with every Democrat in attendance voting against ANWR oil production - except for U.S. Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-TX), who continued his longstanding support for improving America's energy security.
Every Republican in attendance voted for the ANWR amendment.
"It is inconceivable to me that with gas prices at historically high levels, the Democrats in Congress continue to oppose opening America's largest untapped oil field," said Young, the Ranking Member on the Committee. "Gas prices have increased more than $1.25 a gallon since the Democrats took control of Congress in January 2007, which is not surprising considering they continually support decreasing America's domestic energy production in favor of increasing our dependence on foreign nations for our energy supplies."
Republicans Voting In FAVOR Of ANWR Democrats Voting AGAINST ANWR
- Don Young (R-Alaska) - Nick Rahall (D-WV)
- Tom Tancredo (R-CO) - Edward Markey (D-MA)
- Jeff Flake (R-AZ) - Dale Kildee (D-MI)
- Henry Brown (R-SC) - Neil Abercrombie (D-HI)
- Luis Fortuño (R-PR) - Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
- Louie Gohmert (R-TX) - Donna Christensen (D-VI)
- Rob Bishop (R-UT) - Rush Holt (D-NJ)
- Bill Sali (R-ID) - Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
- Doug Lamborn (R-CO) - Jim Costa (D-CA)
- Mary Fallin (R-OK) - John Sarbanes (D-MD)
- Adrian Smith (NE) - Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
- Louis Capps (D-CA)
Democrat Voting In FAVOR Of ANWR - Jay Inslee (D-WA)
- Solomon Ortiz (D-TX) - Joe Baca (D-CA)
- Hilda Solis (D-CA)
- Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD)
Young's amendment would have allowed for oil exploration in a 2,000 acre section of the Coastal Plain in the 19-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Some of the funding would have been used to finance programs in the National Park Centennial Challenge Fund (H.R. 3094), which was the bill Young attempted to attach his ANWR amendment.
"I would have hoped that America's dire energy situation would have convinced the Democratic Members to quit pandering to the extreme environmental groups and finally do what's right for our nation. I'm disappointed this didn't happen.
"But the opposition of many Democrats to ANWR oil exploration is nothing new - it's been going on for decades.
"In 1995, former President Clinton vetoed a bill containing legislation I sponsored that would have allowed for the environmentally-sound production of the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. If President Clinton hadn't vetoed this bill, ANWR production would now be providing our nation with more than one million barrels of oil each day.
"This Democratic opposition to ANWR oil production has kept 10.4 billion barrels of American oil locked up in the northern coast of Alaska Coastal Desert.
"Instead, we are forced to import more and more oil from the Middle East and other foreign nations at a price of $120 a barrel," Young said.
Young's Prepared Statement On The ANWR At Today's Markup
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. While I appreciate the Majority's interest in National Parks and weekend recreational activities, I would remind my colleagues that this Committee has jurisdiction over all federal lands - including those lands containing tens of billions of barrels of untapped, American energy.
And given the fact that Americans are now paying astronomical prices for record amounts of OPEC oil, I'm going to go out on a limb here and bet that most Americans are more concerned about energy prices than they are about hiking trails and park maintenance legislation - particularly when that legislation has no funding offset.
As for those Americans who can actually still afford to gas up the Queen Family Truckster for a family road trip to one of our National Parks this summer, I'm sure they wouldn't mind if the costs of this bill were covered by federal revenue collected from American energy companies.
So I am offering this amendment to kill two birds with one stone. My amendment will pay for the entire cost of this bill by opening 2000 acres of the 19.6 million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to American energy development.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that bonus bids from ANWR leasing would total $8 billion, $4 billion of which would go to the federal government.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) further estimates that developing ANWR's 10.4 billion barrels (USGS mean estimate) would generate $183.5 billion in corporate tax income and royalty revenue to the federal government (based on today's prices of $120).
Even more significant, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that ANWR could supply America with an additional one million barrels of oil per day for 30 years - an amount nearly equivalent to 30 years worth of imports from Hugo Chavez.
Some of my colleagues in this Committee have suggested that one million barrels per day from ANWR is insignificant. I find it interesting that many of these same individuals are now arguing that 70,000 barrels per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is important.
Let me say it again: They claim 70,000 barrels per day is important, while arguing one million barrels per day - 14 times as much energy - are insignificant. Mr. Chairman, this is nonsense. And it is because of such nonsense that Mr. and Mrs. America continue to suffer.
But who suffers most as a result of our failure to take this issue seriously? Who suffers most as a result of the Majority party's success in making energy less available and more expensive?
I'll tell you - it's hard working Americans who suffer. It's retirees on fixed incomes, low-income households, single parents, and families in rural areas of the country where the price of gas makes $4/gallon seem like a bargain. And if we continue on this course, our children and our grandchildren will suffer.
Mr. Chairman, for the last 140 years - since the end of the Civil War - the U.S. has been the number one economic power in the World. Now, for the first time in this Nation's history, our long-standing role as number one in the world is being challenged as Communist China works feverishly to seek, secure, and develop the resources they know are essential for economic prosperity and world influence.
And yet, instead of doing what is right for the people of this Nation, the Majority party in Congress continues to embrace their long-standing policy of advancing only those polices approved by the nation's radical environmental fundraising organizations.
When they were in the minority, my Democrat colleagues on the other side of the aisle focused their efforts on obstructing progress. Now, they're laying the groundwork for our demise.
Since 2000, the U.S. economy lost more than 3.2 million manufacturing jobs as a result of higher energy prices and the lack of Congressional will to do something about it. This unfortunate reality has become an epidemic for small businesses throughout the country.
And here we are today focusing our attention on improving recreation, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars in spending the Democrats are not proposing to offset.
Mr. Chairman, a nation that spends too much time on recreation yet ignores roads for commerce and the energy needed to deliver product ignores its future and its obligation to future generations.
I stand in awe at the degree to which we are whistling past the graveyard.
So, we have a choice today - we can finally begin to seriously address the single most important issue under this Committee's jurisdiction, or we can pass this unfunded leisure and recreation bill, leave Mr. and Mrs. America out in the cold, and send them the bill.
I think my colleagues know where I stand.
For more information, access the Committee on Natural Resources' Minority website at:
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Director of Communications
U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources
1329 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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