Rep. Michelle Bachmann Is Bullish On ANWR Oil Drilling
Minnesota Republican Representative Michelle Bachmann returned from her ANWR trip with her nine Republican colleagues and says that we should start oil drilling there as soon as possible.
Here is a video from Fox News with Bill Hemmer interviewing Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R.-Minn.) discussing her recent visit to ANWR:
Rep. Bachmann says that the Alaskan natives want oil drilling to occur. According to her, the pipelines are only about 50 percent full now and we have a short window of opportunity. It would take six to nine years for ANWR to actually pump oil with all the permitting process to take place.
If less than 300,000 barrels of oil per day go through the pipeline, the pipeline won't work. ''The
pipeline initially sent 2.1 million barrels a day down through the pipeline when the field first opened. We're now pumping maybe 700,000 barrels a day and that's because the field is diminishing.'' Rep. Bachmann states that we have to start pumping oil in Prudhoe Bay. We only have about 10 years to get it refined so time is of the essence. Oil exploration and drilling must be substantially increased.
According to Rep. Bachmann, the United States should build the 74 additional miles of pipeline to get to ANWR to begin the pumping of 10 million barrels of oil. If this happens, we would increase domestic energy production by 50 percent.
The permitting process is holding up drilling because 11 different points can be brought up in litigation to stop production. Rep. Bachmann introduced a bill in Congress last week that would fast track the permitting process and now she wants to introduce another bill that would streamline the litigation process so unnecessary lawsuits can't halt drilling for an extensive length of time.
She is thinking of creating a special court system that would deal with oil and gas issues related to the permitting process. Currently, it takes about two years to get a decision rendered from these environmental lawsuits.
The entire area of ANWR is about 19 million acres but there are, essentially, two ANWRs: One ANWR is primarily protected for wildlife. The ANWR that would be used for drilling is a coastal plain and it's directly to the east of Prudhoe Bay. The scientists have done seismic activity up there and estimate that we have 10 million barrels of oil within 74 miles of the current pipeline.
Rep. Bachmann explained to John Gizzi of the Human Events
newspaper about Prudhoe Bay: ''We
have a pipeline that is over 800 miles long that goes from Prudhoe Bay down to...and that alone has to be one of the wonders of the world--the fact that a pipeline of this magnitude could be built and it's been running continuously for 31 years, so it's very low effort not traversing over mountains, but just going over regular tundra, and we would only need to build a 74 mile spur of pipeline.''
Rep. Bachmann claims that Congress has delayed the oil drilling process and strongly disagrees with Nancy Pelosi's claim that the oil companies have been sitting on the leases for 10 years. She says that Congress has artificially slowed down the process by permitting all these extraneous lawsuits that take a long time to expedite. She claims that the oil companies could get the oil drilling within three years in an environmentally safe way if Congress wouldn't allow the lawsuits.
Rep. Bachmann and her Republican House colleagues dined with Alaska Governor Sarah Pallin. Governor Pallin was astounded to learn that Congress hasn't brought up a vote on ANWR oil drilling prior to the August recess.
Bachmann says that she will contact GOP presidential nominee John McCain and urge him to take a trip to Alaska and talk with the native people there. She is convinced that he will be impressed with the potential of oil drilling to the east of Prudhoe Bay.