Stevens Opposes Cantwell To
Keep ANWR In Budget
November 03, 2005
Wednesday, Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) joined Senators Pete
Domenici (R- N.M.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and John Sununu
(R-N.H.), and James Talent (R Mo.) in voicing opposition
to Senator Maria Cantwell's (D-Wash.) motion to strike language
authorizing development of the Coastal Plain from the Budget
Reconciliation bill. The motion to strike will be voted
on during a series of roll call votes which will begin on Thursday,
November 3, 2005.
During his speech, Senator Stevens discussed the legislative
history of the 1002 area, the need for Alaska oil in Washington
and throughout the country, and the rationale for including the
provision authorizing development in the Budget Reconciliation
In speaking against Senator Cantwell's motion, Senator Stevens
said he plays an interesting role in the argument since he was
in the Interior Department in the Eisenhower Administration and
helped create the Arctic Wildlife Range. Stevens said, "I
was here at the time that Senators Jackson and Tsongas offered
the amendment that created the 1002 Area it was specifically
excluded from the Refuge. It is not wilderness,
it never was wilderness, and it has never been closed to oil
and gas exploration."
Stevens said, "Twenty-four years ago, during the debate
on the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA),
I worked closely with Senator Scoop Jackson and Senator Paul
Tsongas to ensure part of the Coastal Plain of this area remained
open for oil and gas development. Senator Jackson and Senator
Tsongas promised oil and gas activity would take place in that
Coastal Plain subject to an environmental impact statement which
would have to be approved by the Congress. In the spirit
of compromise, they created Section 1002 of ANILCA, which set
aside 1.5 million acres along the Coastal Plain for oil and gas
exploration and development."
Senator Stevens also explained why he believe it is necessary
to include the provision permitting exploration and development
on the Coastal Plain in the Budget Reconciliation bill.
"I have heard some comments here this morning on whether
or not this is right to have this provision in this bill.
The Constitution of the United States doesn't require 60 votes
to pass a bill; that is only a procedural rule of the United
States Senate on how to end filibusters. Filibusters plague
this Senate. They continue to plague this Senate.
And that is why the Budget Act was passed to prevent filibusters
on items that would bring about increased income to the Untied
Senator Stevens expressed his "amazement" that Senator
Cantwell of Washington had introduced her motion to strike the
language authorizing development on the Coastal Plain from the
Budget Reconciliation bill. He said:
"I must express my amazement that our colleague from Washington
has introduced an amendment to strip this provision from this
budget reconciliation. In 1980, former Washington senator
and my great friend, Henry 'Scoop' Jackson, wrote a letter discussing
the importance of ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge).
He wrote this:
"'Crucial to the nation's ability to achieve energy independence,
one-third of our own petroleum reserves are in Alaska along with
an even greater proportion of our potential reserves. Actions
such as even preventing the exploration of the Arctic Wildlife
Range is an ostrich-like approach that ill serves our nation
in this time of energy crisis.'"
Senator Stevens then discussed why developing our domestic resources
on the Coastal Plain is important to Washington State.
He said. "Not only does ANWR serve our important national
security interest, it also serves economic interests of the state
of Washington. The economic health of the Puget Sound is
directly linked to Alaska, as is illustrated by a report commissioned
by the Tacoma Pierce County and the Greater Seattle Chamber of
Commerce. Of particular importance is oil production in
the North Slope. Washington's refining industry purchases
almost its entire crude oil stock from Alaska."
Stevens, said, "The report
states, and I quote: 'Direct impacts from the refining of Alaska
crude oil within the Puget Sound region include 1,990 jobs and
$144.5 million in labor earnings. In 2003, oil refineries
in Puget Sound imported $2.8 billion worth of crude oil from
"Oil development is a major contributor to the health of
Washington's economy. As oil wealth in the State of Alaska
increases so does the demand for Puget Sound goods and services.
Perhaps this is why the Chambers of Commerce support balanced
development of ANWR. They understand that with Prudhoe
Bay declining, it only produces about 950,000 barrels a day instead
of 2.1 million barrels a day. Additional oil resources
must be developed to ensure the continued economic viability
of the Puget Sound Region," said Stevents.
He said, "The development of Prudhoe Bay contributed more
than $1.6 billion dollars to the Washington economy. ANWR
alone is estimated to create over 12,000 new jobs in Washington
alone, in addition to the revenues it will generate for that
Senator Stevens explained how development on the Coastal Plain
will help meet our energy needs, grow our economy, and enhance
our national security efforts.
"The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is 19 million acres.
The area set aside for oil and gas exploration is 1.5 million
acres. Because of advances in technology, only 2,000 acres
of that will be needed for production," said Stevens.
He said,"According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Coastal
Plain holds between 5.7 billion barrels and 16 billion barrels
of oil. We are capable of producing a lot more oil and gas.
We can produce 876,000 to 1.6 million barrels a day by developing
the Coastal Plain. And that would fill our pipeline back
Stevens said, "I want to emphasize, in 1973, at the time
of the Oil Embargo, our country imported one-third of its petroleum.
We now import almost 60% of our oil. By 2025, we will import
almost 70% unless we start developing our own [resources], improving
the possible reserves that we have."
"American dependence on foreign oil threatens our national
security. We now rely on unstable and unfriendly regimes
to meet our energy needs," said Sen. Stevens.
"The Coastal Plain can produce over 36 million gallons of
gasoline, jet and diesel fuel, heating oil, and other products
every day. It can heat over 8.1 million homes, or provide
all of the gasoline that Californians consume every day.
America needs this American oil. And people who say that
it is only a day's supply or so are talking as if there was no
other source of oil. That is just a preposterous statement
to say that this area contains very little oil," said Stevens.
He said,"We are paying higher prices to meet our energy
needs, and we are flushing jobs and money out of our economy.
This is outsourcing. Our colleagues from the other party
talk about outsourcing; the major outsourcing of jobs in the
United States is outsourcing our supply of energy when
we could produce it here at home."
"For every $1 billion we spend to develop our domestic resources,
we create 12,500 jobs. This means that in 2003 we lost
over 1.3 million jobs by importing oil instead of producing it
here - 1.3 million jobs were outsourced in order to bring oil
from other places!", said Stevens.
Stevens said he believes the tide of public opinion is changing.
"The American people know that development in the
Coastal Plain will help lower energy prices, reduce our dependence
on unstable and unfriendly regimes, and grow our economy."
Senator Stevens concluded his statement by urging his colleagues
to defeat Senator Cantwell's motion and provide the energy resources
the United States needs.
Stevens said, "A vote for this motion is the vote for the
status quo, which is doing nothing on a commitment that was made
in 1980 that this area would be explored and developed in the
national interest. We cannot continue to increase our dependence
on foreign oil. We do have the capability to increase our
production of oil and gas."
He said Cantwell's proposal is a proposal to export 1.3 million
American jobs every year. Stevens said, "It will cost
us $200 billion annually by 2025. We want to stop that.
We want to stem the flow of jobs leaving this country.
We do not want to go beyond 60% in importing our oil. As
a matter of fact, we want to reverse that, and we want to go
back to the promise Senators Jackson and Tsongas made when they
created this portion of this area reserve for exploration and
development. The Coastal Plain has been set aside for exploration
Stevens said, "An old bull, and that is what they call us
World War II types when they reach my age in the Senate, we remember
when a Member's word meant something in the Senate and a word
of a Member who had left the Senate was still fulfilled.
We remember when the Senate would do anything within its power
to honor a promise."
"In our state, we quote Robert Service: 'A promise
made is a debt unpaid.' This is a debt unpaid to the Senate,
to the country, to Alaska to proceed with what Senators Jackson
and Tsongas outlined in 1980, [which was] to explore for and
develop that oil in the area, if it is possible to do so,"
On the Web:
E-mail your news &
photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Murkowski's (R-AK) ANWR Speech
Publish A Letter on SitNews Read Letters/Opinions
A Letter to the Editor
Stories In The News