Yesterday Representative Adam Smith announced that he will oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). This announcement was made in the wake of several recent events.
On Monday, February 26, 2001, Senator Frank Murkowski of Alaska introduced S. 389. Although he defers to this piece of legislation as a comprehensive energy package, it does little to help the U.S. develop a sustainable energy policy. Additionally, Murkowski's energy package opens ANWR to oil drilling. Congressman Smith opposes this bill. He believes that our country cannot drill its way out of our energy situation. Rather our country needs to develop a sustainable energy policy that uses renewable energy and encourage conservation.
Additionally, on February 27, 2001 President Bush made his Joint Address to Congress. In his address he outlined his budget. Included in his long term budget projections is revenue from drilling in ANWR beginning in 2004. Congressman Smith believes that including ANWR is misleading, and gives us an unrealistic picture of our future revenue. Since drilling in ANWR would require Congress to pass legislation, it is misleading to include projected revenue from a project that Congress has not even considered.
As a result of these two events Congressman Smith felt it was necessary to make a decision on this issue now. "I am making this decision at this time because I want to show President Bush and my colleagues that I will not support drilling in ANWR and I do not believe that it should be included in any budget projections," Smith said. "Over the next few months I plan to work with my colleagues to develop a sustainable energy policy that focuses on conservation and alternative sources of energy."