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U.S. Dependency on Foreign Oil Promoted by Senate Democrats

For Immediate Release. March 21, 2003Once again the Senate has failed to meet the energy needs of America, by rejecting oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) by a 54 to 46 vote on March 19, 2003.  As a result, the U.S. will continue to be dependent on foreign oil to meet its energy needs putting America’s national security at risk as well as jeopardizing future economic growth.  Democrats were able to assemble the required support to remove the drilling provision from a budget resolution.

America’s single largest oil reserve is ANWR, and oil exploration in the vast refuge would not create an unacceptable risk to wildlife and pristine forests since the oil exploration equipment would affect only a minute 0.1 percent of ANWR’s 19 million acres.  In addition, ANWR could produce between 9.2-16 billion barrels of oil according to estimates from some petroleum experts.  Furthermore, ANWR is so rich, it could substitute the oil that the U.S. would otherwise have to import from Saudi Arabia over the next three decades.

Oil exploration in ANWR would not endanger wildlife or landscape because of strict federal laws that govern oil and gas exploration.  Also, techniques would be used by the energy industry that would provide ecological benefits to the area.  Pads of ice could be built instead of contrasting gravel pads to ensure that when the ice melts away little or no evidence of human activity will be left when a dry exploration well is capped.  Also, temporary ice roads could be used extensively to support winter exploration activities.

Government subsidies and preferences for alternatives to fossil fuels have failed to make these technologies competitive and are unlikely to do so in the future. Natural resource economists indicate that long-term programs to conserve energy or increase efficiency do not result in lower energy consumption but just the opposite. Energy consumption increases as a result of greater efficiency. Since increased efficiency lowers cost, demand is increased because goods are more affordable.      

“One way to promote economic growth and maintain our national security is to provide for a reliable and affordable supply of energy by increasing domestic energy exploration,” said Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski, president of the American Voice Institute of Public Policy.  “This can be done by the government promoting free market principle that continually reduce government intervention in the energy markets and promote domestic energy exploration,“ added Dr. Rutkowski.

For Interviews Contact:

Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy
757-436-5927
jrutkowski@americanvoiceinstitute.org

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