Bingaman Statement on National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska

May 17, 2002
12:00 AM
“The Administration’s reassessment of the oil and gas potential of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska is great news for our nation’s energy future. It also validates the Democratic view that this reserve has outstanding potential as a major new source of oil. And, Congress doesn’t need to pass any new law to drill there. “Enhancing America’s energy security is the goal of the Senate-passed energy bill. When we debated this bill for six weeks, the volume of rhetoric about drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge may have confused some into believing that ANWR is the only place in the U.S. where you can find more oil. This study proves what we have said all along: that’s not so. “In addition to the 32 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico that have been leased for oil and gas activities, the NPR-A also holds great promise for more oil and gas development, according to the government’s scientists. That shouldn’t surprise anyone: those 23 million acres were specifically set aside 79 years ago because of their oil resources. Drilling there is already happening, and there have been major finds. “As the leader for the Senate majority when we conference energy, I’m eager to begin working with my colleagues in the House. We’ve got a lot of work to do, and this new analysis of the NPR-A’s potential will be very useful when the discussion turns to whether drilling should be allowed in the Arctic Refuge.” # # #