“Ain’t gonna happen” says Begich of Anti-ANWR Legislation
January 25, 2011
In response to the legislation, Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) said, “Ain’t gonna happen."
Sen. Begich has been a staunch supporter of responsible oil and gas development in Alaska, noting Congress specifically set aside the 1.5 million acres along ANWR’s coastal plain for oil and gas exploration. The vast majority of ANWR is already off limits to development.
Begich also joined the rest of the Alaska Delegation last year in voicing strong opposition to an effort by the Obama Administration to review and consider designating further areas of ANWR as “wilderness.”
In announcing the legislation, Lieberman said, “I have long believed that we have a responsibility to future generations to preserve the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and I have fought to protect it for as long as I have been in the Senate,” Lieberman said. “The fact is, we do not have to choose between conservation and exploration when it comes to our energy future; we can do both simultaneously while moving toward a sustainable and diverse national energy policy.”
Sen. Lieberman has introduced legislation trying to block oil and gas exploration in ANWR 12 times since 1989. Begich said this effort will be unsuccessful, making it a dozen defeats for Lieberman’s bill.
ANWR lies in the top northeast corner of Alaska. The entire refuge lies north of the Arctic Circle and 1,300 miles south of the North Pole. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was originally formed on Dec. 6, 1960 with an original size of 8.9 million acres. In 1980 and 1983 the size of ANWR was increased to the current size of 19.6 million acres.
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