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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Republicans, Alaska Governor Sean Parnell Push for Oil Drilling [with no oil spill cleanup plan] in Arctic Ocean and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- could this be why they are going after Charles Monnett?

Republicans, Alaska Governor Push for Oil Drilling in Arctic Ocean and Wildlife Refuge

by Rachel Bogart, Yahoo! News, August 2, 2011

After months of forgotten offshore drilling ventures following the United States' worst oil spill disaster, Republicans are planning to push a bill that would allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska. Consisting of more than 19 million acres, it is the largest wildlife refuge in the country. In addition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the bill would also require the Department of the Interior to begin selling offshore leases for drilling ventures.
The same day Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell requested that federal regulators move forward in terms of allowing offshore oiling north of Alaska in the Arctic Ocean. Parnell expressed his concerns with the U.S.'s dependency on foreign oil, especially in light of rising gas prices.
The efforts from Republicans in Congress, Gov. Parnell, and other Alaskan officials come in light of the Obama administration's release of the Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future. The blueprint outlines policies and steps that the U.S. needs to adopt and apply to secure the future of energy across the nation and reduce dependency on foreign oil. Of course, the blueprint has received criticism from Republicans and energy experts who claim that while the concepts are crucial, major roadblocks still stand in achieving them. Additionally, one of Obama's main goals is to reduce foreign oil imports by a third by the year 2025, which puts a mass amount of pressure on increasing domestic oil output.
House and Senate Republicans and Gov. Parnell hope that developing oil drilling sites in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as well as offshore in the Arctic Sea north of Alaska, will make reducing foreign oil imports and Obama's Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future more feasible. Both areas are rich in oil and could aid in domestic oil production.
After the BP Deep Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico almost a year ago, plans for future offshore oil drilling ventures have been put on the back burner over safety and environmental fears. Even BP wanted to continue with offshore drilling, but roadblocks in the U.S. caused them to focus their efforts on drilling in the Arctic Ocean in Russia after developing a partnership with the Russian government. Russia had expressed interest in boosting domestic oil production, especially with decreasing oil reserves in Siberia following decades' worth of extensive drilling.
The upcoming bill is being sponsored by 30 lawmakers and will also include amendments that would eliminate carbon dioxide regulation under the Clean Air Act.
Rachel Krech provides an in-depth look at current environmental issues and local Chicago news stories. As a college student from the Chicago suburbs pursuing two science degrees, she applies her knowledge and passion to both topics to garner further public awareness.

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