AMERICAN-MADE ENERGY AND GOOD JOBS ACT -- (House of Representatives - May 25, 2006)
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Mr. SALAZAR. Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to the rule and to H.R. 5429. This is legislation that would open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration. I find it unbelievable that such a bad and ineffective bill could be given such a good name.
Opening up ANWR to drilling is not the answer to America's energy problem. It certainly will not create the jobs needed to help my hometown of Manassa, Colorado. What opening up ANWR will do is destroy one of the most pristine environments on our entire continent. Nobody really knows for sure how much oil there is in ANWR. Unfortunately, it would require a significant amount of drilling and testing to find this out.
Once they start exploration, they will already have destroyed part of the environment, an environment where I understand that no plant or animal species has gone extinct or that no outside species has invaded. It is pristine. In our global society, it has become apparent that we need to leave some areas untouched. ANWR is one of those areas.
I realize that our country has a fundamental imbalance between supply and demand. Drilling in ANWR will provide little, if any, relief on demand. We cannot drill our way out of these problems.
Likewise, we cannot conserve our way out of the energy problems. We must diversify our portfolio.
On my farm, I do not grow just one crop. I must diversify my farming operation to be been able to handle the ups and downs of the agricultural markets, and that is exactly what we need to do in this country.
By diversifying our energy portfolio, the country can better handle the volatility of energy markets. We need to invest in alternative energy resources, conservation and responsible domestic energy development. We have just a few unspoilt lands remaining in our country. We need to protect them.
Drilling in ANWR is not a form of responsible domestic energy development. I ask my colleagues to help protect ANWR. There is no better way in our country to reach energy independence than granting access to ANWR. This is a poor bill, and I urge my colleagues to vote against this legislation.
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