"We must take advantage of the window of opportunity we have to open the refuge once and for all."
- Rep. Kohring
(JUNEAU) - Legislation to fund Arctic Power's efforts to advocate the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas exploration has passed the House Special Committee on Oil & Gas. House Bill 32, sponsored by Rep. Vic Kohring (R-Wasilla/Mat-Su), Chairman of the Committee, passed unanimously yesterday. The measure now moves to the Finance Committee, it's final committee of referral in the House.
$1.3 million is earmarked in Kohring's measure for marketing purposes, with the goal of securing passage in Congress of federal legislation to authorize the opening of ANWR. Kohring noted that timing is critical and quick action must be taken. "We must take advantage of the window of opportunity we have to open the refuge once and for all," he said. "That window is a Congress which is favorable to oil and gas development in ANWR as well as a president who has committed to signing legislation authorizing such development."
Arctic Power, an organization whose primary mission is to open ANWR, will lead the lobbying effort in Congress. Kohring noted that $1.3 million is a small price to pay for the potential benefit the state stands to gain. "Up to 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil is expected to be found. This will yield huge economic benefits to Alaska, including bolstering the state's treasury."