President Bush, speaking at a construction machinery plant in North Carolina last Monday, called for increased construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and the opening of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas drilling.
"We need to do a better job of making sure we can get natural gas from overseas -- liquefied natural gas into the United States. We don't have enough liquefied natural gas [terminals] to allow that gas to come here, and we need to expand that in the United States," Bush said in his speech to the John Deere-Hitachi plant in Kernersville, NC.
"We've got to produce and refine more crude oil and natural gas here at home in environmentally sensitive ways. And we can do that. The most promising site for energy in America is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska," he told plant employees.
"I can't tell you how important I think it is for the United States' Congress to authorize a pro-growth, pro-job, pro-environment exploration of ANWR."
Opening ANWR to exploration and production is part of the Senate's pending budget savings package, but it is not included in the comparable bill on the House side. Supporters believe that ANWR will be part of the conference report on the budget that emerges following the House-Senate negotiations, while opponents are convinced it will be nixed in the process.
An impasse over ANWR has continued to cloud chances that House-Senate conferees will reach a deal on the budget-reduction package this year, according to Congressional Quarterly's Green Sheets.
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