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)

    We need to drill now, and if it takes us 7 years to get a drop of oil so be it! If this is gonna get us independent of foreign oil it will be all worth it. Should we stop making our mortgage payments because it's gonna take us 30 years to be lien free? Think people think.

    July 9, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  2. Peter E

    If we invested the same money into alternate energy sources, or even nuclear power plants (which are expensive) that we do bickering about this issue we'd be off foreign oil by now! (and we import half our oil)
    Seriously, instead of bashing oil companies we could give them incentives that SPECIFICALLY are for expanding the alternate energy market. Let's make it profitable for them! That's the way capitalism works! And amazingly enough, this has already started! Currently the biggest investors into alternate energy ARE the traditional energy companies. Many of them were smart enough to realize that instead of suppressing an unsuppressable market they could get in on it early and make it profitable for themselves!
    But I guess politicians and lawyers think they can score more votes and more lobbyist money by propagating this artificial conflict.

    July 9, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  3. VB Lincoln Park, NJ

    Just another example of Repugnicans catering to those who own them!

    GOBAMA 08!!!!!!

    July 9, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  4. Caycee

    While they're in Alaska they should check into the "progress" of the HAARP and then give US the warm and fuzzy report about that too.

    July 9, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  5. jonathan

    W A K E U P !

    July 9, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. Pam

    Who cares about Republicans. Greedy, Greedy and more Greed. Liers on top of lies. Just terrible!!!!!

    July 9, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  7. Gary from Madison, WI

    Republicans are morons. They are only doing this to please their big oil, corporate masters. If we truly we to be energy independent, then we cannot continually rely on a finite resource. Environmentally, how is drilling for more oil (especially in a wildlife refuge) helpful? It truly goes to show where republican values lie.

    July 9, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  8. wilder

    The US Department of Energy projects that drilling in ANWR will only lower the price of gasoline by TWO CENTS a gallon...in the year 2025. That's SEVENTEEN YEARS from now.

    Like everything else the Republicans do, this is nothing but another giveaway of America's resources...so their masters at Exxon (just like their former masters at Enron) can make another hundred billion dollars or so at taxpayer expense.

    The GOP has become the greatest criminal enterprise in the history of the world. Teddy Roosevelt must be spinning in his grave.

    July 9, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  9. maynard hopkins

    Its about time someone does something and starts to understand the whole picture about ANWAR. i just hope that these people show the
    legislators the right area. I have contacted Sen Pat Kreitlow about this several weeks ago and you should have seen the run around I got from his office in Wi.
    There is no reason why the oil wells should not be put in this area.
    This is a do nothing congress that we have right now. when the people get fed up enough something will happen LIKE VOTE PEOPLE IN POLITICS OUT OF OFFICE AND START ANEW.
    Something has to be done and fast. lets start by building more refineries now, uncap the wells and pump oil that the government is paying to leave idle. There is also oil in Wy and Co. if they can,t pump in Alasaka then pump with in the lower forty eight.
    I have been studing this for sometime now , something will give before the election in the fall

    July 9, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  10. Scrambler

    There we go again...

    Instead of focusing on renewable energy, McDrilling wants to spoil the shores of California, Florida, and now is even targetting destruction of ANWR – a true national treasure. Same instant gratification hotmouthing gimmick similar to the gas tax holiday. The prices are high now because Bush thumped his chest, bombed Iraq for no reason, and now most of the middle east feels disrespected and are not willing to increase production. Obama would be able to negotiate lower prices because he's not hated. All the while focusing on excellent and proven strategies to wean us off oil.

    While the RNC is at it, perhaps they should drill McBush for some fossil fuel. He is a fossil afterall.

    July 9, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  11. Jeff Brown

    Go there and don't come back!

    July 9, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  12. Willy

    Drill Herer Drill Now Pay Less!

    July 9, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  13. No Warrant Needed to Spy on Congress

    How about we just make the switch to solar? Oh, wait, that would be way too easy. I guess it would be like saying let's make CNN adhere to the truth in their journalistic pieces.... hahahahaha!!!

    July 9, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  14. D Jones

    It's amazing to see some of the hate-filled rhetoric that CNN allows on this comments section. Most of this stuff wouldn't get past scrutiny on any conservative blog site (the spewing of hate and name-calling by either side, that is).

    Seriously people, we do need to drill in ANWR. We do need to drill off the coast of this country. We do need to extract oil from the shale in Colorado and other surrounding states. We do need to open up the capped oil wells. We do need to fix the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico that were damage by Hurricane Katrina but have been too expensive to fix because of leftist government regulatory tactics. And the liberals need to get out of the way of these things.

    And we do need to explore alternatives. We currently have enough oil in US territory to fuel 60 million cars for 60 years. And I believe that as we open up exploration, chances are that we'll find even more resources. But...it won't last forever. We need to build more nuclear plants. We need to build more wind farms. We need to build more solar farms. And the liberals need to get out of the way of those things as well! Yes, it was the liberals who blocked a wind farm off Cape Cod because they didn't want it spoiling their view.

    We need both and they cannot be mutually exclusive. Industry has been working on alternative energies for decades, but so far there's been nothing that can match the efficiency of petroleum products for travel purposes. Believe me, if there was a way to make a car that runs on salt-water...someone would be building it and making a huge fortune. Government cannot be the ones to choose what alternative is going to win and they shouldn't be bankrolling any of them. The government can't even run a DMV, why should we trust them to run something moderately complex like energy production (or healthcare, God help us!).

    The best thing government can do in this situation is stand back and let private industry find the way. Stop obstructing and let capitalism do it's thing. We have laws on the books to prevent damage to the environment (as if the desolate wasteland of ANWR were that precious to keep the way it is!) and if there is damage, the government or, better yet, the harmed individuals can sue the oil companies. That's what the court system is for.

    The other thing that needs to happen is an investigation of Congress. For every dollar of oil company profits, those oil companies pay 3 dollars in taxes. Where is all this tax money going? Why is Congress still having trouble balance the budget with this huge influx of tax money that must be coming in as a result of huge oil company profits (and even huger oil company taxes paid)? Since Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took ascendancy in the House and Senate, oil prices have gone up over 100 percent. Why have they sat and done nothing? Why have they blocked every common sense proposal from the President and Republicans? How are they profiting from our misery? Time to start pointing fingers and, Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Reid, the fingers are pointing at you!

    July 9, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  15. Republican Voting for Obama

    This is not the solution people.

    If we lift the ban on offshore drilling and start drilling in ANWR it will create a false sense of security and people will continue to fill up their SUV's. We will have to wait a decade to actually see any of this oil and by then gas will cost $10.00 a gallon. Then the oil companies will make even bigger profits off of the small amount of oil that would be extracted from ANWR.


    Reduce demand, and the price will go down. I thought Republicans were supposed to understand how the free market works.

    Given that we will not be able to ever have enough supply to drive prices down at this point (oil is a limited resource and there is a finite amount of it on the planet, and I don't think China or India will be interested in conservation any time soon), the ONLY way to reduce the price of gas is to reduce the demand.

    What is it going to take for Americans to realize that everything will be better when we don't all depend on oil?

    July 9, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  16. rexx

    Funny how lefties call republicans "facists" then use the government to outlaw legitimate business from doing what consumers demand. The Left are the ones with no new solutions it is the same old socialist Utopia garbage. Bigger government will fix everything and government control is just great. Well you "commies" can forget it because come November you are going to lose.

    July 9, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  17. Scrambler

    The republican campaign has always been, and continues to be run by big oil. They understand that you don't bite the hand that feeds you. In short, they will drill drill drill and bomb bomb bomb. Over and out, ten four...

    July 9, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  18. Ben

    If that clown in the White House clown had started investing in renewable energy sources 8 years ago instead of invading Iraq for it's oil, we wouldn't be in this mess...

    July 9, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  19. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Keep your grubby paws off the ANWR.

    Future generations will thanks America for it!

    The oil will be shipped to China anyway.

    Short sighted GOP.

    July 9, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  20. Tom

    Who cares what they do.

    July 9, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  21. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    The Truth.....just curious here.....what are the Democrats doing?


    July 9, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  22. Roger from CA

    I wish that the (I think correct) opponents to expanded drilling (and drilling in ANWR) would more clearly, crisply and forcefully make the point to the rightfully-anxious American public that such drilling will not result in either greater supply or reduced gas prices literally for decades, and that the potential amount of oil recovered will NEVER amount to anything close to the cost of the development and to the risk and damage to the environment (and to industries like fishing).

    If the American public were shown the facts in a clear and understandable (yet truthful) way, I have faith that they will see the Republican ruse for what it is: just an attempt to pad the coffers of the oil companies by playing on a sense of financial panic.

    I am sick to death of those who present a false choice between the economy and the environment.

    July 9, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  23. ConserveNow

    If there is Oil and if the Energy cost in getting it is lower than its energy yield, It will be drilled for at some point.
    The question is should it be now, or should we leave it for future geberations, for use in fertilizers,chemicals,[lastics etc.
    The current crop of Republicans owe zero allegiance to future generations.
    We are so overwhelmingly dependent on the stuff that we should allow for a glide path to zero usage when it is gone. Not use it for driving to the mall at 60 mph in a Tahoe. Do we ever hear any pol talk about 55 mph speed limit to conserve? Irrelevant Idiots.

    July 9, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  24. MLG

    The Truth:

    You are absolutely correct. I don't care what party your from, lets get something done quickly. 4 or 7 years is better than 22+ years.

    July 9, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  25. Matt, Manchester, CT

    Great of Speaker Pelosi to release a statement such as that. I'm sure she's really riding high on that soaring Congressional approval level. Democrats are morons.

    July 9, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
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