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Energy Plan

In the letter reproduced here, the Center for Individual Freedom urged immediate Senate action on the bipartisan comprehensive energy plan already passed by the House of Representatives





C.e.n.t.e.r ...F.o.r...I.n.d.i.v.i.d.u.a.l... F.r.e.e.d.o.m

.........Jeffrey Mazzella
.........Vice President, Legislative Affairs

December 7, 2001

The Honorable Thomas Daschle
Majority Leader, United States Senate
S-221 U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Majority Leader Daschle:

On behalf of the Center for Individual Freedom, I am writing to urge immediate Senate passage of H.R. 4, the bipartisan comprehensive energy bill, including provisions to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas exploration.

Since the tragic events of September 11, debate in this country has quickly shifted to issues of national security. There is no issue more important to our nation’s security than reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil.

As the world’s lone superpower, America’s energy consumption has grown at twice the rate of domestic production since the energy crisis in the 1970s. Yet more than half of our nation’s oil is currently imported from foreign sources, including the Middle East, a region plagued by instability and turmoil. In fact, more than 700,000 barrels a day comes from Iraq. As America embarks on its war against terrorism, such overwhelming dependence on foreign oil sources is simply unacceptable, in both reality and in national purpose.

Opening the roughly 2,000 acre stretch of ANWR’s 19 million acres to limited, responsible oil drilling could significantly reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, as it represents this country’s largest untapped onshore energy reserve. It is estimated that America could be pumping as many as 16 billion barrels of oil out of this tiny sliver of artic land. Despite environmentalists’ objections, the use of advanced drilling technologies need not disrupt the environment or the wildlife they so stridently defend — even over our overwhelming national security interests.

Furthermore, opening ANWR to oil and gas exploration will generate hundreds of thousands of jobs, a boost our country critically needs as we struggle to climb out of economic recession.

Reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil is imperative and must be thrust to the top of the Senate’s agenda. The alternative proposal offered by you and other members does not address our nation’s vital energy needs today. We need a straight up or down vote on H.R. 4 without further delay. Republicans want it, Democrats want it, the American people want it and our national security depends on it.


Jeffrey Mazzella
Vice President, Legislative Affairs

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