This bill essentially does 3 things that the Democrats want to use to mislead the American people into thinking they support increasing domestic energy production.
It once again brings back the “Use it or Lose it” idea that was defeated a few weeks back by a bipartisan coalition because of its worthlessness. The 68 million acres that the Democrats say are in need of “use” are, in fact, being used. They are in some stage of exploration right now but are caught up in a bureaucratic maze of approval. As far as the “lose it” portion of the proposal, energy companies are already required to utilize acquired leases within a five to ten year period or the Interior Department Secretary has the right to revoke the lease.
It says we can’t export oil from Alaska. Not a bad idea, but the problem is we haven’t
done that for the past 10 years.
It “opens up” land to drilling in Alaska. While they’re on the right track, if they really
cared about opening up land for drilling, they’d do so in ANWR and not in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA) that has (1) already been open for 25 years, (2) is 250 miles away from the nearest pipeline, and (3) isn’t all that serviceable in that it only has 53 workable days a year of thaw.
Conversely, ANWR is close to the Trans-Alaskan pipeline that is already in service. More importantly, ANWR has more production potential on a much smaller piece of land. If the Democrats’ key fear about drilling is the damage it causes to the environment, what sense does it make to use a much bigger piece of land for a substantially smaller return?
Democrats know the vast majority of the American people want to drill here, drill now, and pay less – but this bill will not hide 30 years of shutting off access.
This bill is more of the Democrats’ same failed policies. It’s simply cover for doing nothing to produce energy and it’s the Democrat Leadership’s excuse for blocking votes on real oil and gas production.
Just yesterday, at a Financial Services Committee hearing, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stated “…a 1 percent increase in supply could lower prices by 10 percent.”
Enough smoke and mirrors. If the Democrats want to drill in Alaska, ANWR is sitting there waiting.