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US House Passes ANWR Bill


May 25, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, by a vote of 225 to 201, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 5429, the American-Made Energy and Good Jobs Act. Introduced by House Resources Committee Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-Calif.), H.R. 5429 allows oil and gas exploration and development on 2,000 acres of the Arctic Coastal Plain.

Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) praised the passage of H.R. 5429. "A majority in both Houses of Congress - and 70% of all Americans - support environmentally-sensitive exploration and development on the Arctic Coastal Plain," he said. "Developing this area's vast resource potential will help stabilize energy prices, spur economic growth, and enhance our national security. I applaud the House of Representatives' passage of this important legislation."

Alaska Congressman Don Young voted to pass The American-Made Energy and Good Jobs Act, H.R. 5429 which will allow limited oil and gas drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

"I am pleased with the results of this vote. Since 2001, the House has passed legislation for oil exploration on ANWR's coastal plain six times," said Congressman Young. "In light of the increase in gas prices at the pumps, this bill makes good sense. I have long said that we should stop sending billions of dollars to OPEC countries who intentionally keep oil prices high and support terrorism with U.S. money. We should spend the money right here at home," he said.

Young said, "At today's prices, ANWR's 10.4 billion barrels of oil equals $780 billion worth of investment here at home. When we keep our money home this means billions of dollars in federal revenue that could be used for disaster relief, Social Security, or prescription drugs." He said, "This is also a jobs bill. Production in ANWR will yield as many as 1 million new jobs for America. We all know that drilling in ANWR will not solve the energy problem this nation faces, but this is a good spring board into solving our nation's energy."

The American-Made Energy and Good Jobs Act directs the Secretary of the Interior to establish and implement a competitive oil and gas leasing program that will enable the exploration, development, and production of the oil and gas resources in the Arctic Coastal Plain.

The Coastal Plain is believed to be the 2nd largest oil field ever discovered in North America, capable of producing 1 million barrels of oil per day. The National Defense Council estimates development of the Coastal Plain will create between 700,000 and 1 million American jobs.

The bill could go to the Senate next. Democrats there would undoubtedly block it, and Republicans currently don't appear to have the 60 votes they need to break a filibuster.


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