Begich to Markey: 'ANWR Will Not be Locked Up'
U.S. Sen. Mark Begich issued the following statement today, reacting to news Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) has reintroduced a bill to prohibit oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Markey introduces an anti-ANWR bill designating 1.5 million acres of wilderness along the coastal plain at the beginning of each Congressional session:
"I'll make Congressman Markey a deal. I won't legislate for Massachusetts and he stays out of Alaska's business.
"This annual piece of legislation to lock up one of America's most promising oil and gas reserves is as predictable as New Year's resolutions. But it has no more merit today than it did the first time it was introduced.
"The vast majority of ANWR is already off limits to development, but Congress specifically set aside 1.5 million acres along the coastal plain for oil and gas exploration. It has enormous potential and should be part of a national energy policy that will bring economic and national security to our country.
"I agree that we need to do more to develop alternative energy forms as part of our national plan, but to put ANWR off limits is shortsighted. ANWR will not be locked up."