This week, the Department of the Interior announced plans to prohibit exploration on approximately half the land contained in the Alaskan National Petroleum Reserve. This land was expressly set aside for development and is not a wildlife refuge. I am concerned that once again the administration is creating new barriers to American energy independence. Additionally, this decision was made without consulting the people of Alaska or their elected representatives. With gas prices on the rise again, we should be encouraging production, especially in areas already set aside for that use.