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A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have! - Thomas Jefferson

Friday, June 20, 2008

Explore ANWR and Outer Continental Shelf, Says Bob Barr

“The United States has large energy deposits within its own borders and off its shores.” says Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president. “It is time for America to develop those resources to benefit the American people.”

The Democratic Party remains a large road block to a better energy future, since it even opposes exploration to determine how much oil and natural gas we have. “Sen. Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats say they want to promote a prosperous America, but they are committed to keeping us dependent on expensive foreign energy sources,” Barr observes.

Unfortunately, Sen. John McCain is little better. He is “a late and uncertain convert to a smarter energy policy,” says Barr. For years Sen. McCain, like most of his Democratic colleagues, opposed allowing development of the Outer Continental Shelf, thought to contain 86 billion barrels of oil, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, believed to hold another eight to ten billion barrels of petroleum. Trillions of cubic feet of natural gas are available in the same areas.

“Even now, with gasoline prices racing past $4 a gallon, Sen. McCain cannot bring himself to support exploration in the small portion of ANWR known to contain valuable energy resources,” notes Barr. This week Sen. McCain said he “would be more than happy to examine it again,” but, argues Barr, “the time for making a responsible decision on energy development was years ago.”

Even where states have indicated their support for exploration—as in Virginia, where last year Gov. Tim Kaine and the legislature urged seismic testing—Congress has refused to appropriate the minimal funds necessary to act. “Congress foolishly tosses billions of dollars annually at alternative fuels which are never likely to be cost effective, yet refuses to take the most basic steps to develop proven energy reserves,” notes Barr.

It will be years before oil from these sources can be brought to market, critics complain. “That just underscores the need to act now,” explains Barr. We are vulnerable today to an overpriced world marketplace because we failed to develop our resources years ago. “Reducing our energy vulnerability should not be an issue of left or right; it is the responsible policy for America,” Barr insists.

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