July 9th, 2008
07:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Republicans to head to ANWR

Boehner is leading a group of Republicans to ANWR.

Boehner is leading a group of Republicans to ANWR.

(CNN) - As congressional Republicans step up criticism of Democrats for not allowing votes on legislation that would open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration, House GOP Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, is expected to announce Thursday that he’s leading a group of 10 House Republican freshmen on a trip to ANWR next week, a senior Republican aide told CNN.

Calling the trip the "American Energy Tour," the Republican Members will stop first at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado on Friday, July 18. From there the group will travel to Alaska and visit Prudhoe Bay on Sunday, July 20th, and then embark on an aerial tour of the potential drilling area in ANWR. The group will also meet with local tribal leaders in the small community of Katovik, Alaska.

Nadeam Elshami, spokesman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said: "Depending on how long their weekend is, there are 68 million acres already leased to oil companies that could be drilled today and which Republicans can visit - and to lower gas prices now instead of ten years from now - they should join the Speaker in calling on the President to release some oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve."

The Republican aide said the purpose of the trip is to highlight the GOP’s comprehensive approach to help lower gas prices, calling it “the all of the above energy strategy."

“This is not just about drilling in ANWR. This is a roadmap to our energy future," the aide said. “We'll be looking at our immediate short term goal, and then the longer term, looking at renewable sources like solar and wind, research in every area, in the next generation of energy technology."

Republicans going on the trip include Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn, Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fl, Rep. Mary Fallin R-Okla, Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Oh, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Co, Rep. Robert Latta, R-Oh, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Ca, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La, and Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Ne.

Boehner is expected to announce the trip at his weekly press conference on Thursday on Capitol Hill.

Filed under: House
soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. Cracka lova

    What a waste of tax dollars..........there will be no oil production for ten plus years.......why dont they send Shell or Exxon or Mobile...........GOP is garbage

    July 9, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. Natasha/Ohio/Democrat

    A trip and a waste of taxpayer money.

    July 9, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. Sean

    It's estimated that the actual benefits of drilling for oil in Anwar would be something along the lines of two yeas worth of oil, if even that. The long term consequences of drilling there would far outweigh these minimal benefits. There are other ways.

    July 9, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. Brian

    Republicans love to drill...... They would drill the Grand Canyon, Niagra Falls, The Everglades, Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Mall in Washington, Montecello and the 9/11 ground if it would benefit their friends the oil companies.

    July 9, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  5. Donna

    Sounds more like a FREE VACATION from the taxpayers to me...

    We have been in an energy crisis for years...and NOW they want to go highlight the issue??Must be an election near!!!!!!!!!!!


    July 9, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  6. David, Silver Spring, MD

    The Republicans could've done something back in 2001, when they controlled the White House and Congress. And by "something," I mean something constructive. Instead they sat on their hands and now want to push the country to try to drill its way out of this mess.

    The blame starts with Ronald Reagan. When Carter was Pres., he recognized the seriousness of the energy situation and tried to lead. He put a solar water heater on the roof of the White House and pushed alternative energy. Reagan came in talking "Morning in America," took down the water heater, and turned his back on the looming environmental crisis we now face. Nice going, Ron!

    July 9, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  7. Andy

    Why are Republicans so excited about destroying one of the few untouched wildlife refuges in the country?

    Haven't they ravaged the environment enough?

    July 9, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    Where were these republicans 8 years ago. No need to put this on the Democrates. It's amazing to me, how the Republicans are acting like we don't have a President.

    July 9, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  9. Maxine

    Why can't these idiots get it through their head, that we need to be researching and developing alternative fuel. This depedancy on oil is bad for all of us. Oh let's add the Aritic wildlife to the wild mustangs that the feds can't take care of and are going to start to kill. I am ashamed that our country is so behind the world in fuel economy. Germany is putting solar panels on apartment buildings, what are we doing?

    July 9, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  10. Amusing...

    Maybe if the oil companies had managed to demonstrate that they could do anything with that oil, people would be more interested. But until they start building refineries and paying attention to the environmental issues around their extraction processes, they'd get approval.

    But no.

    Remember; Exxon made a profit off the Alaska clean up, just like every other oil company. The secret? They raised prices, and americans paid it.

    July 9, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  11. Vivienne

    Yeah.... Right....

    July 9, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  12. Tony, Miami

    Well it the democrats don't put a pin in the republicans' as... they will not move. I hope the democrats keep holding the pin and always ready to push in.

    July 9, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  13. Shannon

    I am really confused, why don't they, the republicans, just propose that we drill on the land that has already been allotted for drilling purposes? Why go after the wildlife preserves?

    July 9, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. Franky

    “This is not just about drilling in ANWR. This is a roadmap to our energy future," the aide said. “We'll be looking at our immediate short term goal, and then the longer term, looking at renewable sources like solar and wind, research in every area, in the next generation of energy technology."

    O.K, very well said. Just let me put a check mark really quick...

    July 9, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  15. Len in Washington

    This is hogwash! Here's some info for everybody.

    There are currently almost 400,000 CAPPED oil wells in the lower 48 states. Yes, you read correctly...400,000!!!!!

    This is according to the Global Resource Corporation. They estimate that these wells could produce 12,000,000 (million) barrels of oil per day and the total would supply this nation for 40 YEARS! That's WITHOUT drilling a single new well anywhere! Why aren't the Republicans looking into this!

    Just Google "Capped Oil Wells" and you'll see for yourself.

    July 9, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  16. Belle

    Actually, prior to OIL Drilling, putting regulations on oil speculation would be an IMMEDIATE fix to the cost of oil.

    Oil sells at 40.00 a barrell...then speculators buy up the oil 66% currently vs. 26% in the 90s....then speculators sell to each other as many as 20 times before it is actually sold to a refiner.

    Oil still selling at 40.00 a barrel costs 150.00. Talk about excessive mark ups....the real question...who are the speculators, and why do they sell to each other first? Regulating to being able to speculate once before selling to refineries would cut the cost of gas in half.

    July 9, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  17. The Truth

    just curious here

    what are the Democrats doing?

    if you like ANWAR or not, at least these guys are getting off their hands
    and trying to find a solution.

    I don't care if you are a Dem or Rep, someone has to get on this energy problem. Even T Boone Pickins wants to get us on wind power.

    Nancy Pelosi, get out of your SUV and do something

    July 9, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  18. Rich

    So they're stopping at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to make it look like they care about alternative fuels (which they don't) and then they're going to ANWR to look around (even though none of them would ever cross party lines and stand against drilling the ANWR.)

    With this information even an idiot can see that this is not newsworthy. It's just pandering while wasting our precious tax dollars. Please report how much money this publicity stunt is costing me CNN. That would be news.

    July 9, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  19. Chris K

    Three Questions:

    1) Do we need to call the EPA and make sure they have a pollution control team on Standby – in case the facists actually touch the ground?

    2) How many members of the Saudi Royal Family have been invited to go along on the trip with them?

    3) How much money are American tax payers going to have to pay for this? Or are the big oil companies paying for it?

    July 9, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. Typical White Person

    Barack Obama last year: I "unequivocally oppose giving retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies. Granting such immunity undermines the constitutional protections Americans trust the Congress to protect."

    Barack Obama today voted FOR immunity for telecom companies that gave information without a court order as the law requires.

    CNN – why isn't this on the ticker???

    July 9, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  21. The Professor

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi raises a "straw dog" [false issue] in claiming the oil companies can drill in "68 million acres" already under lease. The real issue is that they need to drill WHERE THE OIL IS! It's not like drilling for water, that can be found almost everywhere. It does no good to drill anywhere in those milliions of acres unless there are proven oil reserves.

    Ah, but, who are the oil companies to question Nazi [er, Nancy... ] Pelosi who is undoubtedly the world's leading expert at oil production including where to drill to obtain the limitless supplies of oil that are needed today. [JUST KIDDING!]

    Surely, we cannot trust the "greedy oil companies" who only want to make a profit. What do they know compared to Nazi [er, Nancy... darn, it just sliped out!] Pelosi?

    We must believe the politically appointed [or is it "annointed"] ruler of the House who nearly single-handedly is preventing the "work of the people" from being conducted by refusing to let bills out of committee in a most politically manipulative action designed to deny duely elected representatives of the people of all the other states the Constitutional right to vote on measuers.

    OBama is touting "change" but is this the kind of "change" we want! Remember the "good old days" when the Democrats control of the House and gave us the House post office scandal among others?

    July 9, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  22. Obama 08: Female, 60, white

    Why isn't McCain pushing for the oil companies to drill in the leased areas they already have??What guarantee is there that they will drill if there are more leases??

    July 9, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  23. Texan for Obama

    I am an Obama supporter but we HAVE to do something to reduce oil/gas prices and restore some confidence in the economy. Common sense tells me we WILL have to drill within our own oil reserves to accomplish that. The Saudi's are laughing at us struggling with increased gasoline prices, crying about it on one hand but not wanting to drill here on the other. Their coastlines look very good especially with all the new buildings being paid for with our money.

    I keep reading and hearing that Florida is going to have Cuban and Venezulan wells within 25 miles of their shoreline either way. How can it make sense that we sit on our hands and they get the oil that we have to pay $10 gallon gasoline prices for?

    IF we had started years ago to produce alternative energy even when Gore was VP, then this may not be necessary. It is TOO LATE NOW not to drill in our own oil reserves. I'm not at all sympatetic with Al Gore's crying about saving the world NOW when he didn't accomplish anything THEN with Clinton. Maybe instead of inventing the internet Gore should have invented an alternative fuel. I am concerned about global warming but we cannot fix it in 5 or even 10 years without pouring resources into alternataive energy. We can't pour money into reserarch if our economy completely fails.

    I may very well end up voting for McCain just because of oil prices if Obama and the rest of the democrats won't move toward drilling in our oil reserves. Alternative energy has to happen but is a very long way off. Our oil reserves could provide a bridge to that future. You can forget medicare and social security reform if we don't have a viable economy those programs along with many others won't be around period.

    July 9, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  24. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    Pelosi should be removed if Democrats want to get back on track.

    July 9, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  25. Unshrub

    It would take at LEAST ten years for oil to reach the refineries in ANWR. This is just political so the republicans can tell there knowledgeable follows they are doing something the Democrats won't do. WHAT A JOKE.

    WAKE UP, Drilling is not the solution, it's not even a short term fix. How much oil will the US get from drilling new oil? VERY LITTLE. It's only something to use during the election.

    July 9, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
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