Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Craig Williams: Drill ANWR Now!

I'm sending the material below over the next day to many people in Pennsylvania, both "sides" of the state. I'm going to make this a sustained effort through September (and probably longer). Many people came to the state either for Kerry or Bush in 2004, and I believe there will be many more this year. I believe McCain could draw even in PA as early as the first or second week of September.

Note: On my HillarySupportersforMccain site, I have an essay entitled, "Why The Democratic Party Doesn't Exist Anymore." I hope you'll visit.

Bulletin: from mid-August until election day (Nov. 4), there will be MANY people from out-of-state (and out of your district) coming to battleground states to campaign for John McCain. Among the key states are PA, OH, and VA. There will be an urgent need for housing and food for the people that will be visiting your area. If you can't provide housing (or a "free" meal), perhaps you can help defer a portion of the costs of people's staying over at the local version of the Red Roof Inn. The people who are coming could just be the ones who make the difference between John McCain's winning the state -- and his not doing so. If you can provide assistance of any kind to the visitors, please let me know at: TalkTop65@aol.com. I know some of the people who will be coming to PA (as well as OH and VA), and they're terrific human beings. I'm sure we'll be able to familiarize them with other important races taking place in PA, VA, and OH. In my home state, we'll show them that indeed "You have a friend in Pennsylvania."

Craig Williams is the Republican candidate for the office of U.S. Representative for the 7th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. He is a former federal prosecutor, Marine combat veteran, and former active duty Deputy Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. For more information on Craig and his campaign, visit http://www.craigwilliamsforcongress.com/.

My First-Hand Observations of ANWR

By Craig Williams

With gas prices at as much as $4 per gallon local residents are feeling the impact in other aspects of our daily lives. As a result of high gas prices, the cost of food and other consumer goods is more expensive, police and fire stations are cutting back on patrols and volunteers, and schools are decreasing the areas where they will provide busing this fall. Everything in our daily lives is tied to energy.

Increasing our domestic oil production, specifically in the Arctic tundra of Alaska will help address the current energy crisis. I recently traveled to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to determine first-hand if we could responsibly drill for oil and natural gas in a limited area of the refuge. I came away from my experience firmly convinced that we should begin exploration of the coastal plain of ANWR immediately.

We send $700 billion each year to foreign countries for oil. Those countries, many of which are openly hostile to our democratic way of life, provide 67 percent of our oil needs and have enormous control over our economy. Taking immediate control of our own energy needs is a matter of national and economic security. We need to reduce – and eventually eliminate – our dependence on foreign oil as we bridge our way to the next generation of renewable energy. Drilling in ANWR will not fix our current energy crisis, but it will help.

During my trip, we flew the entire length of ANWR and large portions of the reserve are truly beautiful with rolling mountains, rivers, and fields of wild flowers. But the area proposed for drilling is on the other side of the Brooks Mountain Range. It is a flat and barren tundra. There are no trees and I saw no teeming wildlife. And this was summer. Winter on the North Slope lasts 8-9 months when the coastal plain is covered in ice and snow and temperatures reach 30 degrees below zero.

I spoke with community leaders in the small Eskimo village of Kaktovik – located within ANWR itself. Those leaders overwhelmingly support drilling in ANWR. This is a subsistence community that lives off of the land and they insist that any drilling on their tundra must be done responsibly. They believe that it can.

I also compared the 1970s oil technology in Prudhoe Bay to some of the latest technology at a facility called Alpine. The footprint of the facilities has shrunk dramatically. A drilling site that once required as much as 140 acres can now be compressed into as little as 5 acres. Today’s facilities are also largely self-sustained, requiring no permanent supply roads across the vast tundra. This new technology, including the drastically compressed footprint, would be used in ANWR. The local natives insist on it, and it is the right thing to do.

In Barrow, Alaska, I spoke with officials from North Slope Borough. All were overwhelmingly in favor of responsible drilling in ANWR. They also derided the Democrats “use it or lose it” stance. They noted that although the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska has recoverable oil, companies are unable to drill there because environmentalists have kept the leases locked up in litigation for the past 10 years. They also pointed out it would require a 250 mile pipeline to reach the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and that the Army Corps of Engineers will not permit the companies to build a pipeline over a major river. In addition, the Bureau of Land Management will not issue the construction permits to begin drilling. They correctly saw “use it or lose it” as a political charade designed to deflect attention from the inaction by Congress on this issue.

ANWR is not the answer to our energy needs, but it is the best first-step. The area being proposed for drilling makes up less than one half of one percent of the coastal plain of ANWR – an area that is a barren, frozen tundra 8 to 9 months of the year. Modern technology will also allow us to reduce the size of any new drilling operation and minimize impacts on the environment. In addition, I heard from local leaders who overwhelmingly support drilling in ANWR – and these are people who live there and know the terrain better than any Pennsylvanian could ever hope to.

We can recover critical oil and natural gas from ANWR in well under the 10 years that Democrats tell us it will take. Now we have to convince the Democrats in Congress . . . or vote them out. They are the only thing standing between us and economic relief and independence. It is time to take control of our own country. Our future security demands it.

Tomorrow, I'll write about the congressional race in PA's 7th district between Craig Williams and Joe Sestak. How does Sestak feel about the above issues? He basically sides with Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama in thinking that the energy situation is just fine as it is. A shameful stand.

No comments: