Washington, D.C. – As the U.S. House of Representatives debates the FY2018 congressional budget resolution – H. Con. Res. 71, establishing a budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2018 and outlining budgetary levels for fiscal years 2019 through 2027 – Alaska Congressman Don Young is once again pushing to end the prohibition against oil and gas development in the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) – an area specifically set aside by Congress in 1980 for future development.
Congressman Don Young discussing the importance of opening ANWR through the budget reconciliation process (click here to watch)
Highlight from Congressman Young’s floor speech on the importance of ANWR (for full remarks click here):
- “I thank you for including ANWR, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in the budget process. I’m looking forward to this – with this legislation we contribute money for solving some of our national debt.”
- “We have a little over 20 Billion barrels of oil [in ANWR’s 10-02]. Think about how much money that would bring to the U.S. Treasury immediately through the bidding process.”
- “Now is the time to make sure this nation is totally energy independent. It won’t happen overnight, but only Congress can do this.”
- “Again, I said that I expect bids of about $10 to $20 billion just to have the right to drill. With new royalties coming down from the Secretary of Interior, we will not only have a large amount going into the U.S. Treasury but we will have about 776,000 new jobs created by the discovery of this oil.”
- “Oil is not evil. It is necessary for this nation socially – to create jobs, to make a healthier economy.”
- “So I’m asking my colleagues again to consider this legislation; it is necessary for this nation, it’s necessary very frankly for the good of this Congress. With $20 trillion in debt, I’ve yet to hear anything that’s going to create new wealth.”
- “You can cut all you want to cut, I’ll cut what I want, but you have to create new wealth. You have to bring it into the fold of the general budget process and for the economy of this nation.”
Similar to efforts made in the 2005 budget reconciliation process, Congressman Young and others have outlined the critical role oil and gas development in ANWR’s Coastal Plain would serve in achieving significant revenue for the United States government. Included within H. Con. Res. 71, Building a Better America, are clear instructions for the House Natural Resources Committee to “submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction sufficient to reduce the deficit by $5,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.” Accompanying reports by the House Budget Committee also request the following consideration:
- “Unlocking domestic energy supplies in a safe, environmentally responsible manner will increase receipts from bonus bids, rental payments, royalties, and fees. The budget allows for greater access in areas such as Alaska, the Outer Continental Shelf, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Intermountain West”
Congressman Young says he’s committed to working with his House and Senate colleagues – in the budget reconciliation process and regular order – to move a comprehensive energy strategy that strengthens opportunities within the NPR-A, creates a stable and reliable regulatory environment, and moves forward on efforts to access and develop our nation’s rich deposits of oil and gas, particularly in ANWR's 10-02.
Young is the sponsor of H.R. 49, legislation that would implement a competitive leasing program for the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas on the Coastal Plain of Alaska. Congressman Young is not only focused on moving this legislation, but pursuing all avenues available to open ANWR’s Coastal Plain to environmentally sustainable oil exploration and development.
Congressman Don Young has led the passage of ANWR related legislation in the House on 12 separate occasions, including through the budget reconciliation process in 1995 (vetoed by President Clinton) and 2005 (defeated in U.S. Senate).