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November 17, 2017

ICYMI: Inhofe Speaks About ANWR and Energy Independence

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, spoke on the Senate floor yesterday about legislation to open a small part the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for responsible energy development.

Key Excerpts:

“… Yesterday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee met to consider legislation to open up a very small part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for responsible energy development. This bill was successfully passed by the Committee and I look forward to helping it continue to move through Congress. …

“… Authorizing the sale of leases in Alaska will also increase revenue to the United States. It is estimated that energy production in Alaska can lead to over $1 trillion in revenue. Responsibly managed, that will have a positive impact on reducing our national debt.  Most significantly, opening ANWR is allowing Alaskans to do what they want to do. …

“… Energy independence is vital to our national security. How many of these countries who were a part of the old Soviet Union have wanted their allegiance to us, but are forced to buy their gas from Russia and Iran—and they don’t want to do it. Now, we are taking them off the hook. …

“… President Trump has been clear—he intends to make the United States a net energy exporter, something we haven’t been since 1953. We’re going to do it. …”

Read Sen. Inhofe’s full remarks as prepared for delivery below.

Mr. President, I now turn to another topic of importance to American families—our energy independence. While many have talked about the importance of the budget reconciliation process to set us up to pass the historic, much needed tax cuts for our individuals and small businesses, the process also allows the Senate to use reconciliation for something equally as valuable—to allow energy exploration in Alaska.

Yesterday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee met to consider legislation to open up a very small part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for responsible energy development. This bill was successfully passed by the Committee and I look forward to helping it continue to move through Congress.

I’ve long been an advocate for a long period of time for responsible development of untapped resources in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It is interesting, the people of Alaska—they all want it to happen. They know all the benefits that will come to Alaska, the money that will be there. People talk about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as if this is some great thing—it is the size of South Carolina. It is a small thing.

Authorizing the sale of leases in Alaska will also increase revenue to the United States. It is estimated that energy production in Alaska can lead to over $1 trillion in revenue. Responsibly managed, that will have a positive impact on reducing our national debt.  Most significantly, opening ANWR is allowing Alaskans to do what they want to do.

We are so good at—in this body—thinking we know more about what’s good for Alaska, what’s good for Oklahoma, what’s good for Georgia, then they do in those states. One of the few things we do right around this place is the highway bills. With highway bills, we get the priorities of the states and they decide what it is they want to do in their states.

For too long, the federal government has been keeping Alaskans from acting in their own best interest.

Finally, increasing energy production in Alaska is a key part of making the United States not only energy independent, but energy dominant.

And we are on the verge of doing just that. Earlier this week the executive director of the International Energy Agency, Faith Birol said that the “the United States will become the undisputed global oil and gas leader for decades to come” and that “the growth in production is unprecedented, exceeding all historical levels.”

ANWR could be, and should be part of that story.

Energy independence is vital to our national security. How many of these countries who were a part of the old Soviet Union have wanted their allegiance to us, but are forced to buy their gas from Russia and Iran—and they don’t want to do it. Now, we are taking them off the hook.

I had a great experience, not long ago, of being invited by the president of Lithuania to come and open their first terminal.

Last month Harold Hamm, chairman and CEO of Continental Resources in Oklahoma, announced that they would begin exporting oil to China. Exporting to China. That’s kind of a big deal. He’s the one who talks about how we will be controlling enough energy to have that same impact on the rest of the world.

President Trump has been clear—he intends to make the United States a net energy exporter, something we haven’t been since 1953. We’re going to do it.

Opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would be a big step towards this initiative and I applaud the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for helping the administration make this happen. 



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