U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today invited President Barack Obama to a "milkshake" summit to discuss a new approach to opening the non-wilderness portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to responsible oil and gas development.
Murkowski's invitation was motivated by an exchange at today's White House Press Briefing, during which Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked about the President's position on legislation that Murkowski introduced last year. Carney responded that he hadn't had a "discussion with [the President] about the milkshake principle."
"I know that the President and the First Lady enjoy milkshakes, and it would be my honor to treat them as we discuss the innovative technologies that will allow us to put a "straw' into North America's largest oil field from outside ANWR boundaries," said Murkowski. "Without any harm to the surface of the coastal plain, we can produce a huge volume of oil at a time when our nation desperately needs it."
Murkowski introduced S. 351, the "No Surface Occupancy Western Arctic Coastal Plain Domestic Energy Security Act," in February 2011. It is co-sponsored by Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), John Barrasso (R-WY), and John Hoeven (R-ND). Senator David Vitter (R-LA) joined as a cosponsor to a parallel amendment that Murkowski offered on the Senate floor earlier this week.
Current technology allows horizontal, extended reach drilling to access oil up to 8 miles away from the drilling site.
"The White House has indicated its support for safe and responsible oil production, and it doesn't get more safe and responsible than this," said Murkowski.
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