Department of the Interior

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For Immediate Release:
October 19, 2005
Contact: Dan DuBray
(202) 208-6416

Secretary Norton Praises Senate Vote on ANWR

WASHINGTON -Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton issued the following statement on Senate Energy and Natural Resources passage of the Reconciliation measure that contains language on the possible development of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's 1002 Area:

"Ten years ago, in 1995, Congress sent to the President a budget reconciliation measure that would have allowed limited energy production in the 1002 area. He vetoed that legislation. If it had been signed into law, daily production of 1 million barrels of oil would be available today to meet our energy needs. Instead, we pay $1.5 billion each month to purchase foreign oil.

"Today's vote in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is a first step in helping us with future energy supply. I want to thank Chairman Pete Domenici and the members of the Committee for their support for this measure.

"This Administration is committed to the stringent regulation of oil and gas development in ANWR. We will require the best available commercial technology for oil and gas exploration, development, and production in the 1002 area.

"We are also committed to the standard that oil and gas exploration, development and production activities in the 1002 area will result in no significant adverse effect on fish, wildlife or their habitat, subsistence resources and the environment. We will ensure that this standard is met, or no development will take place."