As citizens of the 4th Congressional District cope with gasoline prices approaching $4 a gallon, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) is calling for an all-encompassing oil exploration policy that includes opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and reversing the de facto moratorium on new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
Hartzler is co-sponsor of a bill that would allow the United States to develop its energy resources in ANWR and use a portion of the federal royalties to fund renewable and alternative energy projects that are currently unfunded or are being funded with borrowed money. She also co-sponsors additional legislation to put the Gulf back to work by ending the de facto moratorium on drilling for oil in the Gulf.
"According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there are 10.4 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil in Alaska's ANWR," said Hartzler. "That's almost half of the total U.S. proven reserve of 21 billion barrels -- That amount would provide one million barrels a day for 30 years. Opening ANWR to oil exploration would also create American jobs. According to expert analyses, ANWR energy production would create between 250,000 and 750,000 quality jobs in America. A study from the National Defense Council Foundation says the figure could be as high as one million new jobs."
"Jobs would also be created if we end the de facto drilling moratorium in the Gulf," added Hartzler. "While the moratorium that was imposed in May of last year was officially lifted in October, the Obama Administration continues to slow-walk the permitting process -- imposing a de facto moratorium. According to the Obama Administration's own estimates, the six month official moratorium on drilling cost up to 12,000 jobs."
The ANWR legislation would be environmentally sound with energy exploration limited to just 2,000 acres of ANWR. In addition, the Interior Department would be required to ensure that exploration would result in no significant adverse effect on fish and wildlife, their habitat, or the environment.