Dr. Boozman's Check-up

I have long been an advocate for using our natural resources in an environmentally sound way. Opening up areas of our country rich in energy resources like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is a commonsense solution that will allow us to gain energy independence from countries we currently rely on for oil. Unfortunately, this is an issue that has been discussed for years, but Congress has not taken appropriate action. 

Ten years ago, at the time when the average cost for a gallon of gas was $1.45 a gallon, the Senate debated opening up a portion of ANWR to oil and natural gas production. The amendment was defeated after Senate Democrats argued it would take up to 10 years for the oil to reach the market. Energy production was blocked in ANWR and remains off-limits. As my colleague Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who represents Alaska, wrote in the Wall Street Journal, this was a missed opportunity. 

Fast forward to today where the price of gas nearing $4 a gallon and we have lost up to an additional 1.5 million barrels per day of domestic oil that would be available to help lower the cost of gasoline. 

During my tenure as a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I visited ANWR. Having seen the area first-hand and spoken with local residents, I understand that developing the natural resources in this area of the country can be done with minimal environmental impact and provide maximum benefit. I have supported opening up this area to energy production and will continue to work toward adopting an energy policy that uses all of the resources we have been blessed with.