Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton today issued the following
statement in response to congressional passage of the Energy Policy Act of
"By passing this significant energy legislation, Congress has enacted a
vital component of President Bush's comprehensive energy policy," said
"This energy bill encourages conservation, promotes development of
renewable energy sources and helps grow the American economy. Notably, this
legislation helps expand our domestic supplies of energy by encouraging new
technologies for production here at home.
"This legislation facilitates Interior's important mission in providing
energy for Americans. It enhances production of renewable energy by
harnessing the power of wind, waves and currents in federal off-shore
waters, modernizes our coal leasing practices and includes a number of
provisions relating to non-conventional energy sources such as oil shale and
"This legislation establishes a meaningful Indian energy program, which
enables energy production on the lands of tribes with the capacity and
desire to take a larger role in developing the energy resources on their
"Additionally, this legislation streamlines the process for the
development of small energy projects throughout the country, while
maintaining environmental safeguards.
"I congratulate Chairman Barton, Representative Dingell, Chairman Domenici
and Senator Bingaman on the success of their bipartisan work in the
Conference Committee and commend them for their leadership in seeing this
important legislation through. I also commend Chairman Pombo and
Representative Rahall for their hard work on many of these important
provisions contained in this bill.
"I look forward to working with members of Congress to ensure final
passage of legislation that will further reduce our dependence on foreign
oil by allowing environmentally responsible energy production in the 1002
Area of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an area that is America's
greatest onshore prospect for future oil."
NOTE: The 1002 Area of ANWR 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. 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. Language supporting energy production in the 1002
Area has been passed separately by majorities in both the House and the
Senate earlier this year. It is expected that the issue will next be
considered as part of budget reconciliation legislation.
NOTE: One-third of domestic natural gas, oil and coal are produced on lands
and offshore areas managed by the Department of the Interior.