National Journal – Energy and Environment Blog: Murkowski: Spill Should Spur Drilling In ANWR

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill shows that the U.S. should be drilling in places where the technology is already proven, and that includes the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, the state's senior senator said today.

"We would be producing on shore near an area where we have been producing for 30 years and we have technologies in place that allow us to do so much more," Republican Lisa Murkowski told reporters after a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on electric vehicle legislation. Murkowski is the committee's ranking member.

Her comments came just before a federal judge blocked the administration's ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The White House said it intends to immediately appeal the decision.

Democrats on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee maintain that drilling in ANWR has never been an option. "We've had many votes on ANWR and the votes don't exist to do that," Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said after the hearing.

An aide to committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said his opposition to drilling in ANWR has not changed.

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Source: By Amy Harder. Published June 22, 2010