The Interior Department’s decision to open a prime waterfowl area in northern Alaska to oil and gas drilling is radical and unbalanced, said REP, the national grassroots organization of Republicans for Environmental Protection.
“When the administration eliminates conservation measures that even James Watt believed were necessary, you know that its land management policies are unbalanced in the extreme,” said Jim DiPeso, policy director of REP. “The wetlands around Alaska’s Teshekpuk Lake are one of the premier North American places for producing migratory waterfowl, which are treasured by hunters throughout the West. Since Watt protected the lake, every subsequent administration has maintained those protections – until now,” DiPeso said.
The estimated oil and gas quantities in the area amount to three months of domestic oil consumption and two months of domestic gas use. The oil production won’t be large enough to have any impact on oil prices, since petroleum is priced in a global market.
“We use 25 percent of the world’s oil production, yet 98 percent of the world’s oil reserves are located outside the United States. Making oil drilling the dominant use of many of our nation’s finest public lands and offshore waters will do little except deplete U.S. oil even faster and perpetuate our nation’s dangerous dependence on oil and the unfriendly regimes that export oil. An unbalanced energy policy that focuses only on drilling, gives lip service to energy efficiency, and shortchanges diversification into non-petroleum alternatives is dangerously shortsighted and doomed to failure,” DiPeso said.
Visit the Republicans for Environmental Protection website for more information.