Key Vote Letter to Senate on S.1932, the Deficit Reduction Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 2005
November 1, 2005
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, strongly supports the provisions of S. 1932, the Deficit Reduction Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 2005, that would authorize much needed energy exploration in a small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The Chamber urges you to oppose any amendment that would remove provisions related to ANWR from S. 1932.
As one of America's greatest prospects for future domestic oil exploration, ANWR is conservatively estimated to contain 10.4 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil. ANWR would provide the United States with about 900,000 to 1 million barrels a day for the next 30 years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. An additional 1 million barrels per day produced domestically would decrease oil imports from the Persian Gulf region by 40 percent, which strengthens national security by making the United States less dependent on oil from politically unstable regions.
Energy exploration in ANWR can be done in an environmentally sensitive way, with the proposal currently before the Senate limiting development to a small footprint of 2,000 acres while requiring the use of the best commercially available technology. Further, new technologies are enabling energy producers to mitigate their impact on the environment. ANWR will also bring with it the promise of good paying jobs for Alaska's indigenous populations while ensuring protection of the environment and protection of the fish and wildlife habitat.
American businesses and consumers should not be made to endure high energy prices while substantial domestic energy resources remain off limits. The ANWR related provisions of S. 1932 are an important step in the effort to provide an affordable, reliable supply of domestically produced energy. The Chamber urges you to oppose any amendments that would strip provisions allowing energy production in Alaska's coastal plain from S. 1932, and will consider votes on, or in relation to, this issue in our annual How They Voted congressional scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce