Bridging the Divide: Using Alaska’s Oil and Gas Resources to Launch a New Energy Economy
By Scott McAdams, Candidate for U.S. Senate
Alaskans are crying out for cheaper energy, at the gas pump and when they pay their monthly utility bills. While energy prices in the Lower 48 have declined over the last two years, Alaska families and communities still face high prices.
At the same time, our country's dependence on foreign oil makes nations hostile to the United States $100 million richer every day. These hostile nations are using oil revenues to fund terrorism around the world. And, putting American lives at risk.
Unfortunately, the political grandstanding and partisan rhetoric of Washington, DC has stalled any progress on a comprehensive energy bill. The Obama Administration has stalled Arctic offshore oil and gas development and denied permits for development in the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska. And, Alaska's vast renewable energy resources largely remain stranded.
Like no other state, Alaska stands poised to provide the nation with domestic oil and gas supplies and provide our own communities with reliable, renewable power. We need to send someone to Washington who can bridge the partisan divide by putting new ideas on the table that use revenues from oil and gas production to fund the energy economy for America.
Responsible Development of Arctic Oil and Gas Resources
Develop ANWR and Fill the Pipeline - The easiest and safest way to add more oil to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) again has been staring us in the face for more than 30 years. ANWR holds up to 9 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Using today's directional drilling and small footprint technology, we can safely access this valuable reserve. Scott will bring new energy and ideas to the table to responsibly develop ANWR, including using revenues from ANWR to develop stranded renewable energy sources across America.
Open Arctic Outer Continental Shelf to Responsible Development and Secure Alaska's Fair Share of Revenues - The future of our oil and gas industry depends on getting this right and so does the future of many North Slope communities. Alaska's Chukchi and Beaufort seas together could hold more than 22 billion barrels of oil and 100 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The successful development of these reserves is key to the long-term viability of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline and the future of the Alaska natural gas pipeline.
Scott will join senators on both sides of the aisle to press the Obama Administration to approve permits for exploration and drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Scott will also fight to ensure Alaska gets the same deal Louisiana and other Gulf states got and secure 37% of revenues from offshore development for Alaska communities.
Build the Gasline - As the producers and shippers come closer to making a deal, the federal government can do more to help with the economics of this critical project. An increase in federal loan guarantees, critical to a successful project, sits stalled in Washington, thanks to Republicans who have become the Party of No. Everybody knows time is money, and with the right leadership and attitude, we can streamline federal approvals and cut government red tape. The nation needs Alaska's clean-burning natural gas and the thousands of jobs construction of this project can bring.
Move Ahead on National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska Development - Despite campaign promises of support for NPRA development, the Obama Administration has stalled development, jeopardizing over $600 million of investment and more than 400 jobs. Scott will push for streamlined permitting in NPRA and clearer requirements to ensure permits move through the federal agencies quickly.
Launch a Renewable Energy Permanent Fund for America
Dedicate Revenues from ANWR and OCS Development to Renewable Fund - Right now, 50 percent of the federal royalty revenues from ANWR and 100 percent of the revenues from OCS development would go into the black hole of the federal treasury. Scott will push to dedicate the federal ANWR revenues and more than half of the federal OCS revenues to a new Renewable Energy Permanent Fund for America. A 2008 Congressional report estimated ANWR development could generate more than $59 billion in federal revenues. Assuming a 5 percent real rate of return annually, the Fund could one day provide over $2.9 billion a year for renewable energy investment. This does not even include potential federal revenues from gas development in ANWR or federal revenues from OCS development.
Not only would this create jobs nationwide through ANWR development, the Fund would create thousands more from renewable energy development. For the past 30 years, we have invented key renewable technologies only to watch other countries take the lead in manufacturing them overseas. From wind turbines to photovoltaic solar panels to compact fluorescents -- all developed in the U.S. and now largely manufactured abroad -- we've shot ourselves in the foot over and over again. We can do better. Alaska, in particular, has a unique role to play. Over 2 billion people worldwide don't have access to utility grids. Using our rural communities as a test bed, we can commercialize the technologies, shoring up the future for rural Alaska and creating jobs statewide.
Build and Connect Fish-Friendly Hydropower to Alaska Communities
From the income they provide commercial fisherman and sport guides to how they taste on your plate, nobody knows the value of a salmon like Alaskans do. With over one-third of the nation's untapped hydropower, it's simply wrong that federal laws don't recognize fish-friendly Alaska hydropower projects as renewable. Scott will work with the Department of Energy to unlock valuable federal resources to bring these projects online.
Scott's hometown of Sitka is leading the way, bringing more fish friendly hydropower online. Too many Southeast Alaska communities have to burn diesel instead of taking advantage of the hydropower resources surrounding them. The Railbelt can benefit, too. By building the Chakachamna and Susitna projects the right way, Alaska can lower the cost of power for homeowners and industry while saving natural gas for what it does best, heat our homes.
Retrofit Alaska Homes and Communities to Save Energy
It's been said the cheapest watt is the one you don't have to buy. Making Alaska homes more energy efficient doesn't just save money; it makes your family more comfortable and puts people to work. Essentially all the products that help keep your family warm and lower your bill are made in the United States, from doors and windows to fiberglass insulation.
A host of common sense bills that would help Alaskans save money are languishing in Congress because Senate Republicans are too busy pointing fingers to do their work. Scott will push for passage of three key bills: Homestar Act, Building Star, and Rural Star. These bills will help homeowners, commercial building owners and rural electric cooperatives adopt energy efficient technologies. Not only will these steps save money, they will free up money for families, businesses and communities to invest in our economy and create jobs.
Paid for by Scott McAdams for US Senate
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