(Washington, D.C.) Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05) today voted in favor of H.R. 5429 The American-Made Energy and Good Jobs Act that authorizes oil and gas exploration and production in a section of the Alaska’s Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The bill passed with bipartisan support with a vote of 225 to 201.
“A strong domestic energy supply, both oil and renewable, is vital to our economic and national security,” said McMorris. “America deserves and needs American energy, and exploring ANWR is a step in achieving this. Twenty-first century technology and advanced engineering now exists that allows us to explore for oil and natural gas with minimal impact on the surrounding environment. Our energy policy must include a broad mix of options – and drilling in the ANWR is just one component of a comprehensive energy strategy that will help reduce oil and gas prices for the people of Eastern Washington.”
The American-Made Energy and Good Jobs Act would open just 2,000 acres of ANWR to energy production. In 1980, the Congress and President Carter created the nearly 20 million acre ANWR, but they set aside 1.5 million acres of ANWR’s northern coastal plain for the purpose of future energy exploration and development. This parcel is known as the “1002” area, named after the section of the Act that set it aside for its energy resources. Energy exploration in this bill will be limited to just 2,000 acres of ANWR’s “1002” area, leaving 99 percent of the land in its natural condition.
These 2,000 acres could recover 10.4 billion barrels of oil, increasing America's total proven reserves by almost 50%. At peak production, energy development on ANWR’s northern coastal plain could deliver to the lower 48 states an additional 1.5 million barrels of oil per day. That is nearly equal to the amount we import from Saudi Arabia every day.
The legislation also includes an export ban requiring all oil and natural gas produced in ANWR’s northern Coastal Plain to stay in America, and stringent environmental protections including requirements that the Department of the Interior establish regulations to ensure that drilling will have no significant adverse effect on fish and wildlife and their habitat.