Alaska Legislators Lobby Washington on ANWR
The issue of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
(ANWR) in Alaska continues to heat up as state legislators continue
in their attempts to pry open the restricted lands to natural gas
and oil production. Members of the Alaska state legislature were in
Washington, DC this week pleading there case for lease sales in the
contested area to begin in the near future, while trying to lay old
myths to rest regarding the environmental impact.
Citing the amount of oil and natural gas believed to be on-site,
the pro-opening ANWR group Arctic Power said the Coastal Plain of
ANWR is America's best possibility for the discovery of another
giant "Prudhoe Bay-sized" oil and gas discovery in North America.
"It was amazing to talk to people who had such an inappropriate
understanding of the facts about ANWR itself," said Brian Porter,
Alaska's Speaker of the House. "The first one that comes to mind is
that there is only six months worth of oil for United States
consumption, so what is all the fuss about. That is just not true,
there is five-10 years of consumption for the United States if the
potential is even close to reality."
Another misconception Porter said that was running rampant was
that the whole refuge was going to be tapped for exploration, when
in fact the proposals outline a relatively contained area.
"There were folks that thought we wanted to suggest poking holes
all over the 19 million acres of the refuge," Porter told Daily
GPI. "The fact is that is nowhere close to true, the footprint
technology that we have developed ÿ- not only here but around the
world - would allow such a small footprint that Senator Murkowski's
statements about it being about the size of Dulles International
Airport are true."
The representative said that the pictures the environmentalists
always show are taken facing the mountains, not towards the actual
development area. He said the myths that he and other Alaskan
legislators put to rest left Washington lawmakers "scratching their
heads." Porter said his group pleaded with the lawmakers that if
they thought any of the facts presented were erroneous, to come
check it out for themselves.
The speaker said that the timetable for opening ANWR would
depend greatly on getting a question on ANWR into the budget bill.
If that occurs, then we are getting close he said. "I think we at
least put a dent in the gigantic effort that the conservation
community has put forward on this poster child of theirs," said
Porter. "Quite frankly, I am amazed that what they
(environmentalists) have been saying has been excepted so readily,
because 99% of it is just BS."
For more information on ANWR and the group Arctic Power, visit
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