Daily oil production on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an area which Congress originally designated for oil exploration when it set up the refuge, is estimated by the Energy Information Administration (Dept. of Energy) to be able to produce approximately 1, 000,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
With current imports of foreign oil running over 12,000,000 barrels per day (EIA chart), production of one million barrels of U.S. oil would be an important first step to energy independence.
But this is how Senator Charles Schumer dismissed the benefits of ANWR in an April 28 press conference:
SCHUMER: What does the president do? He takes out the old saw of ANWR. ANWR wouldn't produce a drop of oil in ten years, and it's estimated that if they drilled in ANWR, in 20 years it would reduce the price one penny. We've been pushing for a long time for energy efficiency. We believe in a price-gouging bill so that the big oil companies can't collude. We believe that there's too much speculation in the markets, and we believe that ought to be reined in.So why did he say this two weeks earlier on the Senate floor:
SCHUMER: If Saudi Arabia were to increase its production by 1 million barrels per day that translates to a reduction of 20 percent to 25 percent in the world price of crude oil, and crude oil prices could fall by more than $25 dollar per barrel from its current level of $126 per barrel. In turn, that would lower the price of gasoline between 13 percent and 17 percent, or by more than 62 cents off the expected summer regular-grade price -- offering much needed relief to struggling families.One penny for American oil but 62 cents for Saudi oil?
And we might note that had President Clinton not vetoed the bill which both houses of congress passed in 1995 to authorize drilling in ANWR, that one million barrels of oil would be serving citizens in the U.S. TODAY!
So next time a Democrat complains about the high cost of gasoline, ask them why they voted against eco-friendly drilling for oil right here in the U.S. We have enough oil right here in the U.S. to replace every drop of oil currently imported from the Middle East.