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November 08, 2005

Senator Arlen Specter Supports Drilling ANWR

Today I got an email response from one of my senators, Senator Arlen Specter. I had written to him last week about my thoughts on the ANWR issue. As it turns out, he supports drilling ANWR and was one of the ones who voted to start selling of parts of this valuable reserve.

I thought it was pretty nice of him (or one of his secretaries) to take the time to write back and tell me his thoughts on the issue. It was a pretty long and detailed letter though, and I started to get suspicious. I google searched a line from the letter and found the same letter, word for word, posted on 10 other people's weblogs. Well, even if it is just a form letter that he has one of his secretaries send out to the environmental crazies, it was still nice to get a response. And you have got to give him props for being honest and not just saying something like. . . "thanks for your thoughts. I will definitely take that into consideration for my future votes."

Read the letter after the link:

Dear Mr. Palkovitz:

Thank you for contacting my office regarding the possibility of opening a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to energy exploration and development. I appreciate hearing from you.

In my twenty ‑four years in the Senate, there have been few more heavily lobbied issues than ANWR exploration. I have personally visited the area and my support for oil and natural gas exploration in ANWR is a tough policy choice for me, but one I view as necessary in light of the rising costs for home heating oil, diesel fuel, gas at the pump, and our long-range national security needs. It is especially difficult because of my commitment to protecting the environment for future generations, as evidenced by my strong environmental voting record.

On one occasion in the past, I voted against exploration in ANWR, but the time has come where we must reduce our reliance on OPEC oil through a number of means, including at least limited oil exploration in ANWR. Of course, this must be done with the maximum protection for the environment that is possible, which would be required under Federal law. Past energy bill proposals would limit acreage eligible for exploration, which, combined with today's technology can mitigate environmental impacts of exploration in the area. Such technological advances include: the extended reach of multi-directional drilling, which can decrease "footprints", reduce waste, and increase the amount of product recovered; high resolution imaging that produces more precise well locations and consequently reduces the number of wells needed to access reserves; and the use of ice roads and winter season drilling techniques to maximize the season and reduce the amount of time to bring the reserves to market, while recognizing the needs of wildlife.

Tapping domestic supplies is only one of many steps that must be taken to free the U.S. from dependence on OPEC. To rely on the Saudis and Iran is to court disaster. Our reliance on domestic oil has broad ‑ranging implications on our policy in the Middle ‑East including our support for Israel. While debating energy policy during the 107 th and 108 th Congresses, I supported significant increases in renewable energy, generated from wind, the sun, biomass, hydro and geothermal sources. I have also supported expanding tax credits for clean coal technologies and I led efforts to mandate a reduction of U.S. oil consumption by one million barrels per day by 2013. It is only through concerted efforts to reduce projected U.S. oil consumption and to utilize domestic energy resources that our nation will be able to become energy independent.

Again, thank you for your thoughts on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Rest assured that I will take your thoughts into consideration if the Senate debates this issue in the 109 th Congress. Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office or visit my website at http://specter.senate.gov .


Arlen Specter

Apparently he thinks the potential of making money and becoming more autonomous as a country (no matter how small of a step it is) is worth going back on the Government's word and re-writing history. The fact that much of the land in question was legally set aside as land belonging to the native people living there doesn't matter to him. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The American Government has been stealing land they designated to native people since our country's foundation. Nothing new there.

I also thought some of his lines were entertaining and revealing. . . Here is my personal favorite. "To rely on the Saudis and Iran is to court disaster."

Posted by collin on November 8, 2005 10:41 AM


"Thank you for contacting my office"
that means that his secretary sent this to you.

Posted by: Anonymous on November 8, 2005 05:17 PM

Dang! every time I look at the title of this the ANWR reminds me of Anwar Al Sadat or however it's spelled :-P

Posted by: sha'uri on November 10, 2005 08:26 AM

Not sure, but I doubt many senators want to drill Anwar Al Sadat.

Posted by: Anonymous on November 10, 2005 02:26 PM

my parents are reservoir engineers and supposedly ANWR has only like 40 (exaggeration) barrels of oil which can't even be used because it's so thick, like sludge, that it's almost impossible to refine. i wish people would listen to experts instead of assuming there is oil there to be found. then there wouldn't be this bullshit issue.

Posted by: gillian on December 7, 2005 11:43 AM

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