Arctic Oil Development, Nation’s largest Economic Stimulus Project

October 16, 2001
12:00 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Alaska Sen. Frank H. Murkowski and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham today implored the Senate to begin consideration of a national energy security bill. "Energy security is a critical component of our national security. It is not a political football," Murkowski said, alluding to a decision by the Democratic Senate Leadership to cancel work on energy legislation in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "I think members on both sides of the aisle understand this. The House of Representatives did their job and passed energy legislation earlier this year. Now it's up to the Senate." Secretary Abraham, reiterating President Bush's previous comments, called for immediate action: "The time to act is now. Postponing action until next year is not in the country's best interests," he said. The Energy Secretary and Murkowski, ranking member of the Energy Committee, made their comments at a Capitol Hill press conference with other Senators. Murkowski also told reporters that trade authority and energy legislation are the two critical components of the president's economic stimulus plan. "Estimates from organized labor are that opening the Arctic coastal plain to exploration and development could mean as many as 735,000 jobs without using any taxpayers' money. You can't find a better economic stimulus than that," Murkowski said. Murkowski also noted that ANWR development is expected to produce jobs in all 50 States, producing up to 80,000 jobs in California and 48,000 in New York, hard hit by the effects of the Sept. 11 attacks. He added opening the coastal plain should add $50.4 billion to the nation’s gross national product and add billions of tax and royalty dollars to the federal treasury. Also attending today's press conference were Sens. Larry Craig,( R Idaho), Craig Thomas, (R-Wyo.), Kay Bailey Hutchison, (R-Texas), and Rick Santorum, (R-Pa.). ###