ANWR: Our Frozen Energy Debate

Confronted with an energy shortage, Congress debates opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling. Senator Maria Cantwell (D., Wash.) argues that “oil extracted from the wildlife refuge wouldn’t reach refineries for seven to ten years.” Senator Jeff Bingaman (D., N.M.) is more pessimistic, saying “drilling in ANWR wouldn’t get us any oil for at least ten years.” Leading the successful filibuster of the provision, Senator John Kerry (D., Mass.) echoes Bingaman, saying, “If we opened ANWR today it wouldn’t produce any oil for at least ten years.”

This exchange happened in 2001, when President Bush proposed opening ANWR to drilling in his energy plan. But one need only change some of the details to update the story for today.

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