WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today:
“House Republicans are headed to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge this weekend, and as usual, it looks like they’re headed in the wrong direction. Two-thirds of northern Alaska is open to drilling, so if they’re serious about increasing the domestic production of oil, they should take a left at the Arctic Refuge and keep going west for about 150 miles. That will put them in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska
—the best source for Alaskan oil, and an area that is already open for business.
“According to experts, the NPR-A holds more oil than the Arctic Refuge, with an estimated 10.6 billion barrels to 10.4 billion barrels. We can get at the oil sooner, too—unlike the Arctic Refuge, the NPR-A is approved for drilling right now, and it's closer to existing pipelines. This Wednesday, the Administration announced a major sale of leases there, which just proves Democrats’ point. In addition, millions of oil-producing acres with completed environmental reviews are still available to be quickly explored. Yesterday, House Democrats brought up a bill to help get that oil out of the ground by speeding completion of pipelines and expediting the oil leasing process in the NPR-A.
“Despite all that, House Republicans blocked our domestic production bill. Conceding that NPR-A gives us the most oil, soonest, would have really taken the point out of their stunt of a trip.
“In the weeks to come, Democrats will continue bringing up legislation to find a way out of this energy crisis. We hope that Republicans will join us in advancing solutions, rather than indulging in theatrics.”