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Hastings, Young push bill to open ANWR to drilling

Posted: November 12, 2011 - 10:30pm

JUNEAU — Two U.S. House Republicans on Friday said they plan to propose legislation to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling as a way to spur domestic energy production and create jobs.

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings of Washington and Rep. Don Young of Alaska said in a release that the “Alaska Energy for American Jobs Act” will be part of a jobs bill recently announced by House Speaker John Boehner.  

The Alaska measure would allow for oil and gas development on the refuge’s coastal plain, a 1.5 million-acre stretch on ANWR’s northern edge that’s seen as having potential for development but also importance for wildlife. Hastings said in a news release that it would open less than 3 percent of the refuge’s 19 million acres and produce billions of barrels of oil and generate billions of dollars in revenues. 

Hastings’ and Young’s offices were closed Friday.

“Like all forms of energy production, development in ANWR would put tens of thousands of people to work and jumpstart our sluggish economy,” Hastings said in the release. “An investment in America’s energy security is an investment job creation and infrastructure projects that will benefit every American without job destroying tax increases.”

But environmentalists say some of the figures used to tout the potential benefit of opening the refuge are exaggerated, and they see this as nothing more than the same push for drilling that’s been made off and on for years.

“I think this legislation is dead on arrival,” said Pamela Miller, Arctic program director for the Northern Alaska Environmental Center. She said it proposes a “false solution to a real crisis.”

Lindsey Hajduk, a community organizer with Sierra Club Alaska, agreed, calling the connection to jobs “weak.”

“The economy is hurting now, and they’re talking about development that may happen in years, if not decades,” she said. 

Alaska’s congressional delegation and governor have pushed for opening ANWR as a way to boost domestic production. Next month, the state plans a huge lease sale involving state lands and waters, with some of those leases adjacent to the federally controlled refuge.

While Congress would have to allow drilling in areas like the refuge, Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources has said drilling on nearby state leases could allow developers to draw untapped oil from beneath the federal lands.  

Young, in committee testimony earlier this year, said ANWR is believed to hold between 6- and 16-billion barrels of oil, with about 10 billion barrels estimated to be recoverable. Hajduk said she’s seen estimates as low as 2 billion barrels. 

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AKMaineIac 11/13/11 - 08:31 am

"“The economy is hurting now, and they’re talking about development that may happen in years, if not decades,” she said."

Has to be one of the stupidest things I've ever read. Seriously. If we'd begun the process decades ago, the jobs would already be here wouldn't they?

Almost like the crap they pull with the death penalty... delay, delay, delay, delay, then argue, "Well, that's cruel and unusual punishment, you've had him on death row for twenty years. We can't execute him now."

Sure we can, should have done it ten years ago. We're late, let's get moving.

JOAT 11/16/11 - 09:06 am
Drill... Now!

What people fail to understand... and the oil companies are failing to get the message across... is that we are on the brink of losing the biggest chunk of Alaska's economic engine. Without new production, the Pipeline will be forced to shut down in only 7 years. Yep, just 7 years left!

Right now, they are just barely able to keep enough oil moving through the pipe to keep it functioning correctly. It's moving only one-quarter of the amount of oil it was designed for. Production has dropped by nearly half over just the last decade.

The government just keeps tossing up walls in the form of meaningless anti-oil regulations. The North Slope has always been the cleanest and best run oil field on the entire planet. ANWR and NPR can extend our state's lifeline by decades.

And while it will take "years" to get oil flowing to market from ANWR, if it is opened to permit sales the economic incentive and jobs to start laying down infrastructure, conduct exploration, and begin drilling begins right now. And engineers can impose whatever stopgap measures are needed to keep the Pipe functional until the new supplies are entering the system. That's the key. Without enough oil, the Pipe gets shut off. Once it's shut off, you can't just turn it back on again. This isn't a garden hose in your yard. It's a very complicated piece of mechanical engineering that must be kept running or else it dies.

radiokenai 12/01/11 - 03:05 pm
Shows what dummies

From the comments of Lindsey Hajduk and Pamela Miller it just [filtered word] me off that we have a couple of Liberal Dingbats who haven't a clue of what they are supporting influencing people so they can get their name in the paper !

I bet if you told those (2) old bats that rivers were cutting into the beautiful landscape, they'd try to regulate and eliminate the rain!

As long as we have Environmentalist that are absolutely clueless (IE: rejected welfare recipients) we will continue to destroy our great nation.

PS: Keep in mind, these (2) battle-axes are the first ones in the camera whining that the price of Gasoline is to high to feed their Hummers!

To the Pam and Lindsey Circus Show, you (2) look like the Clowns!

If you want to learn about an Environmental Group that is focused, take a visit to Kenai Watershed Forum. They state the facts without pride, prejudice or politics.

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