Department of the Interior

Office of the Secretary
For Immediate Release:
May 25, 2006
Contact: Shane Wolfe
Statement by the Acting Secretary

WASHINGTON DC— Acting Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett today issued the following statement:

"I am pleased that the U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation to allow energy production in the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The vote to allow environmentally responsible energy production on Alaska's North Slope is an important step in enhancing America's energy security.

Kempthorne Confirmation "The 1002 Area, set aside in 1980 by former President Jimmy Carter and a Democrat-controlled Congress for potential oil and gas development, is expected to contain a mean estimate of 10.4 billion barrels of oil, making it America's greatest onshore prospect for future oil. At peak production, the 1002 Area could produce one million barrels of oil per day, which would make up about 20 percent of our current U.S. daily oil production.

"By requiring use of state-of-the-art environmental protections, the Department of the Interior will ensure that energy production in the 1002 Area does not result in any significant adverse effects on the wildlife or the environment of Alaska's North Slope.

"For the sake of America's energy security, I encourage the Senate to follow the House in passing similar legislation."