ANWR Drilling Leaves America Empty

Every time the price of oil goes up, drilling proponents reflexively propose more drilling in wild places such as the Arctic Refuge.The unique wilderness values of the Arctic Refuge deserve to be protected, not plundered.Allowing drilling and development in the Arctic Refuge would destroy one of kind wilderness yet do virtually nothing to ease our energy problems.

At best oil from the Arctic Refuge would meet America's energy needs for a few months. Drilling in the Arctic Refuge will not help consumers at the pump. The Bush Administration's Energy Department's own figures show that drilling in the Arctic would not lower gas prices by more than about a penny a gallon, 20 years from now.

Instead of fighting over our national parks and wildlife refuges, let's work together to craft the kind of energy policy the United States really needs - one that truly will enhance our security and independence from foreign oil by tapping into the virtually inexhaustible potential of non-polluting renewable fuels.

We need an energy policy that does more than run on empty; one that puts us on the road to real energy security and benefits all Americans, not just the special interests.



Foreign Investment Can Be Balanced Against National Security

The Dubai ports deal demonstrated to the nation that the current system to vet foreign acquisitions of businesses in the U.S. does not do enough to automatically safeguard our national security. The fact that commercial operations at some of our busiest ports were acquired by a foreign government without Congress knowing and without the administration raising any red flags was astonishing.

This legislation, HR 5337 which was introduced by Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), would strengthen the security safeguards in the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States review process, including implementation of a mandatory 45-day review for all deals that include a foreign government. It is also important to note that this bipartisan bill balances the need to ensure that the CFIUS process properly considers national security concerns against the need to encourage beneficial foreign investment. It is based in large part on recommendations of the GAO issued before the Dubai Ports World debacle and has broad support.  


Australian Company's Role in Oil-for-Food Must Be Looked Into

The Australian Wheat Board’s kickbacks lined the pockets of Saddam Hussein and continued after the fall of his government. That money should have gone to feed hungry Iraqis through the U.N. Oil for Food Program. We need to find out who benefited from these kickbacks and whether there’s a way to recover the funds and return them to the Iraqi people.America’s wheat farmers deserve to know why their questions about AWB were not investigated by the Bush Administration. Our wheat farmers lost out to AWB on opportunities to compete for Iraqi wheat sales because their concerns were ignored. It’s the administration’s responsibility to ensure U.S. farmers can compete internationally. In this instance, the administration appears to have sided with AWB rather than American farmers.


Misleading Children Will Not Solve Nuclear Waste Problem

Instead of misleading our children with the nuclear waste version of Joe Camel, the Department of Energy should tell the truth about the real dangers of dumping toxic nuclear waste in Nevada and the real risk to communities in 43 states that will result from thousands of shipments of radioactive garbage on America's roads and railways. I am proud that more than 140 of my colleagues voted to dump Yucca Mountain Johnny and against the use of taxpayer funded propaganda to fool our children into believing that burying nuclear waste only a short drive from Las Vegas is good for Nevada families.


Congress Is Choosing Nuclear Waste over Immigrants

The domestic nuclear industry is one of wealthiest industries in the country and it has no business asking Congress for handouts paid out at the tax payers expense - that is exactly what this bill will do. Congress is essentially saying it doesn't want to let more immigrants into the country but wants to open the door for foreigners to send us their dangerous nuclear waste.


Bush Needs To Stop Compromising Science for Politics

Whether it's stem cell research, contraception, or global warming, this Administration lets politics trump science at the drop of a hat, without regard for the integrity of the scientific process and without regard to the safety of our nation's public health. This is unacceptable.


Spurring Rural Home Ownership

I am encouraged by the swift progress of this bi-partisan bill, HR 5039. It is indicative of both the quality of the bill, and the need for change in the Section 515 rural rental housing program. I am pleased that H.R. 5039 was reported favorably out of Subcommittee, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the full Committee as this bill continues through the legislative process.


Border Security Does Not Belong to National Guard

No one disputes the fact that we need stronger border security. As a sovereign nation, we have a right and a responsibility to control our own borders. However, our borders cannot be truly secure if we continue shifting the responsibility for border protection from the Department of Homeland Security, where it belongs under current law, to the National Guard.

Not all units sent to the border region will be performing tasks that fall within the given tasks they have been trained to perform. I am greatly concerned about the impact this plan will have on the operational readiness of those units and the additional strain it will place on our already overused National Guard.


More Information on Animal ID Program is Needed

As Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, I understand the potential benefits that may be derived from a voluntary, private-based National Animal Identification System (NAIS); however, I also recognize the significant consequences for producers if missteps are made along the way. The language included in the Agriculture Appropriations bill adopted by the House requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture to lay out the detailed plan for the system before proceeding with its implementation.


Drilling in ANWR is Part of The Answer

I am glad to hear the Minority Leader acknowledge we have an energy problem, but surely we can all agree that conservation alone is not the panacea.

What we require is a balance between conservation and production which puts us on a clear path to energy independence. This should be a goal of the entire Congress – that means both sides of the aisle.

Even as worldwide demand for petroleum has increased in the last decade, the growth in production has been relatively flat. The inevitable result is higher prices at the gasoline pump – which is exactly where we are today.

The reality is that it takes time to go from an oilfield to the gas station. And because of opinions like the Minority Leader, we have lost considerable time in this regard.

And his delay hurts Americans in their pocketbook.

In 1995 in the 104th Congress, H.R. 2491 would have allowed oil exploration in ANWR. The Department of Energy has estimated that between 1 and 1.3 million barrels of oil a day could be derived from this source.

Unfortunately, this legislation was vetoed by President Clinton.

That was over 10 years ago. And given a timeline of 7 to 14 years for building the pipeline structure, it is time that we could scarcely afford.

I have been to ANWR. The vast coastal plain is unsuitable for habitation during the summer months because of its marshy consistency. Any caribou unlucky enough to calve in this region would likely die from exsanguination at the hands of the mosquitoes there.

The people in ANWR are counting on this Congress to do the right thing and allow them, the rightful owners of these mineral rights, to begin developing the resources that are granted to them upon statehood in 1959.