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Drill in Alaska. But Where, Exactly?

July 17, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Republicans want to drill for oil in ANWR. Democrats want to increase drilling in the neighboring NPR-A region (pictured above). Meanwhile, the price of gas goes up.

The Crypt reports:

>House Democrats failed again on Thursday to pass a measure requiring oil producers to drill on leased land.
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>The bill fell short because Democrats tried to approve it under revised rules that prevented Republicans from offering an alternative measure to open new land for domestic oil and gas exploration.
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>[…]
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>The Democrats’s Drill Responsibly in Leased Land Act, or DRILL Act, failed under suspension, 244-173, well short of the two-thirds majority required to approve legislation under those rules.
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>The bill would have required oil producers to abandon leased land on which they are not currently producing oil. A previous measure, offered before members left town for their Fourth of July recess, also failed under suspension rules.
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>The legislation on the floor Thursday would have also required the administration to issue annual drilling permits for land in Alaska set aside for the National Petroleum Reserve. In addition, the bill directed the Department of the Interior to work with oil companies to complete a pipeline linking wells in that 23-million acre reserve and another natural gas pipeline connecting Alaska to the lower 48 states.

On her website, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says, "even though it has more oil than the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (10.6 billion barrels vs. 10.4 billion barrels) and it has been open to drilling for 26 years, only four lease sales have been conducted since 1999, and only 14% of the NPR-A is leased. And she adds that “unlike ANWR, which is protected by law from drilling as an environmental preservation area, NPR-A is already designated for oil and gas production so it could occur more rapidly.”

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