House Should Vote for Afforable Energy

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Richard Morrison, 202.331.2273

Washington, D.C., May 25, 2006—The Competitive Enterprise Institute urges the U.S House of Representatives to follow the lead of Resources Committee chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA) and approve legislation that would open a small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska to oil and gas exploration. “Chairman Pombo’s proposal on ANWR is one of the most important things Congress could do to help secure a future of affordable energy for U.S. consumers,” said Myron Ebell, Director of Energy Policy at CEI. “with the nation looking for an answer to the problem of increasingly high gas prices, opening ANWR is an obvious part of the solution.Drilling in ANWR will be limited to 2,000 acres in the 1.5 million acre area originally set aside for energy exploration in 1980. The rest of the vast 19 million acre refuge that has been designated as a Wilderness Area will be kept free of exploration activities. The amount of economically recoverable oil in ANWR will increase America's proven reserves by approximately fifty percent, which is equivalent to thirty years of current imports from Saudi Arabia, one of the nation’s biggest foreign suppliers.“Affordable and stable energy supplies are vital to our collective economic health. Starving ourselves of energy by placing blanket restrictions on developing new oil and gas resources is sheer foolishness,” said Ebell. “The House needs to create momentum for the Senate to follow, and move forward with legislation on ANWR as soon as possible.”