Begich: Egypt’s Turmoil Makes Case for Domestic Energy Production
Requests Armed Services Committee hold hearing on DOD energy plans
As instability threatens the supply of an estimated 5 percent of world oil consumption moving through the Suez Canal, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is calling for a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee to address potential impacts on Department of Defense operations in the Middle East and the national security impact of continued reliance on foreign oil.
In a letter to Senate Armed Services Chairman Sen. Carl Levin and Ranking Member Sen. John McCain, Begich says the U.S. needs to mitigate the effects of international turmoil on national security by increasing domestic energy production.
"As a senator from one of America's leading energy-producing states, I believe the instability in Egypt underscores our need to expand our domestic energy production," Begich said.
Egypt's instability has created a dramatic jump in oil prices and threatens the approximately 1.7 million barrels of oil the U.S. imports from the Persian Gulf each day. Meanwhile, Begich adds, federal roadblocks are preventing relief from foreign oil by stopping the development of billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas in Alaska.
The letter offers a reminder that developing Alaska's resources would create thousands of jobs for Alaskans and Americans and improve our national security.
"The global economy and energy supply is going to experience disruptions produced by political instability and the U.S. should plan for this, not wait for it," Begich said after sending the letter. "Responsible development of Alaska's resources would lessen our dependence on foreign oil and help insulate America's families from political turmoil half the world away."
Alaska's untapped resources include the following estimates:
Alaska's OCS: 26.65 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas - 2006 Mineral Management Service
National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska: 896 million barrels of oil and 53 trillion cubic feet of natural gas - 2010 United States Geological Survey
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (1002 Area): 7.69 billion barrels of oil and 3.48 trillion cubic feet of natural gas - 2005 United States Geological Survey