ANWR: ‘This Year Is Different’

SEN. MURKOWSKI: ‘The Economic Benefits Will Be Substantial, Our National Security Will Be Strengthened’

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “There is one more element of this bill that deserves special attention. It provides the nation, and particularly the people of Alaska, with a tremendous opportunity to develop the state’s bountiful natural resources. In 1980, Congress set aside a particular non-wilderness area within Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge for potential development of its oil and gas resources. This bill is our chance to finally make good on that promise, enhancing our country’s energy security and creating good-paying jobs in the process. Unlocking the resources of this area will provide a boon to Alaska’s economy. But more broadly, it will also advance America’s standing as an energy superpower, helping to cut Americans’ energy costs and strengthening our national security. For too long, special interests have stood in the way of responsible development.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 12/19/2017)

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK), Energy & Natural Resources Committee Chairman: “I’m grateful to my fellow conferees for working incredibly hard to reconcile our differences on tax reform and reach an agreement … recognizing the significant opportunity within our energy title and agreeing to open the non-wilderness 1002 Area. If we can successfully pass this legislation, the ultimate result will be more domestic jobs, larger paychecks, and greater energy security—and that is exactly what Alaska and our country need right now.” (Sen. Murkowski, Press Release, 12/16/2017)

SEN. DAN SULLIVAN (R-AK): “Responsibly developing the coastal plain of ANWR — commonly referred to as the 1002 area — is truly a win for the United States. It will create jobs, grow the economy, increase energy security for Americans, and, importantly, help protect the global environment and strengthen our national security.” (Sen. Sullivan, Washington Post Column, 11/30/2017)

‘A Longtime Republican Priority,’ ‘Extremely Important For Alaska’

“The Republicans' tax package would …open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling … Opening the remote Arctic refuge to oil and gas drilling is a longtime Republican priority … The Arctic refuge has been the focus of a political fight for nearly four decades.” (“Tax Bill Boosts Oil, Gas Drilling And Renewable Energy,” The Associated Press, 12/15/2017)

LIZ RUSKIN, NPR: “It's really quite incredible because, for years, the Alaska delegation has … relentlessly fought for it.” (“Tax Bill Would Open Alaska Wildlife Refuge To Drilling,” NPR, 12/17/2017)

“‘It has been extremely important for Alaska senators for a very long time, and they have always been exasperated by the Lower 48 dictating to them on this,’ Mr. McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and majority leader, said of the Arctic drilling issue.” (“How Arctic Drilling, Stymied For Decades, Made Surprise Return In Tax Bill,” The New York Times, 12/10/2017)

‘Potential Oil And Gas Development… Requires An Act Of Congress’

“Congressional Republicans have long pushed to allow energy exploration in a 1.5 million-acre section of the Alaskan refuge, known as the ‘1002 area,’ where billions of barrels of oil lie beneath the coastal plain. The 19.6-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was created under former President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1960. In 1980, Congress provided additional protections to the refuge but set aside the 1002 area for future drilling if lawmakers approved it. Democrats have managed to block those efforts over fears that drilling would harm … animals like polar bears, caribou, and arctic foxes.” (“Lisa Murkowski Offers Bill Aiming To Raise $1 Billion By Opening Arctic Wildlife Refuge To Drilling,” Washington Examiner, 11/9/2017)

  • “Since the 1980's, the congressional delegation from Alaska… has sought to open a section of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil drilling. … Folded into the budget bill being considered by the Senate this week is a provision endorsed by Murkowski meant to open a piece of the 19-million-acre refuge to energy development.” (“The Energy 202,” The Washington Post’s ‘PowerPost’, 10/20/2017)

“Congressional backers of the drilling, including Mr. Stevens and Ms. Murkowski’s father, Frank, a former senator, had come excruciatingly close to triumph in the past, only to have their hopes dashed at the last minute. In 1995, the proposal reached the desk of President Bill Clinton, who vetoed it. In 2005, it appeared to have a strong chance again, since it was a priority of the Bush administration. But it was scuttled in the House when about two dozen moderate Republicans informed their leaders that they would not support a budget bill with the drilling included. Mr. Stevens then tried to add it to a Pentagon measure but was stymied, leaving him fuming on the floor while wearing an Incredible Hulk tie he sported for major fights. … But this year is different.” (“How Arctic Drilling, Stymied For Decades, Made Surprise Return In Tax Bill,” The New York Times, 12/10/2017)


Related Issues: Tax Reform, History, Jobs, Economy, Taxes, Middle Class, Energy