Department of the Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact: Shane Wolfe
For Immediate Release, April 21, 2005

Statement by Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton


Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton today issued the following statement regarding the U.S. House of Representatives passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005:

"I commend the U.S. House of Representatives for again passing an energy bill that will help reduce America's dependence on foreign sources of energy.

"This balanced legislation encourages conservation, promotes development of renewable energy sources and increases supplies of traditional energy for America while protecting the environment.

"Importantly, this legislation would increase America's energy supply by authorizing environmentally responsible energy production in the 1002 Area of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

"The 1002 Area was set aside in 1980 by former President Jimmy Carter and a Democrat-controlled Congress for potential oil and gas development and 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.

"I am encouraged that support for energy production in the 1002 Area continues to grow in the House.

"The Department of the Interior will ensure that energy production in the 1002 Area is environmentally responsible and does not result in any significant adverse effect on the wildlife or the environment on Alaska's North Slope.

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


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