Here’s a statement from the V.P. pick posted back in July to the Web site of Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas):
What will it take for Congress to enact comprehensive energy policy that includes increased domestic production of oil and gas, renewable and alternative energy, and conservation? It seems to us outside of the Capital Beltway that virtually every effort to accomplish this is met with criticism and failure.
In my opinion, the debate about energy policy is no longer theoretical or abstract. Our failure to enact an energy policy is having real consequences for every American in their daily lives and has begun to affect America’s place in the world. Alaska is ready, willing, and able to assist the nation in addressing our acute and expanding energy needs. Like many other states, we would like the opportunity to help.
Congressional approval of responsible petroleum development in the coastal plain of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) – the most promising unexplored petroleum province in North America – would be of incalculable benefit to my state and our nation.
In the last few weeks, proposals have been tabled to permit oil exploration and development in the 80 percent of the federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)which is off-limits to such activity. I strongly support OCS development in Alaska and elsewhere as a necessary component of a sound energy strategy. However, it makes no sense to consider the OCS and to ignore the possibility of exploration and development in highly perspective upland areas,including ANWR.
As this is written, the Alaska Legislature is considering proposals to commercialize and transport the vast quantities of clean-burning natural gas that are located on the North Slope.
Already, 32 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves have been identified, and many trillions of additional cubic feet are thought to exist on the North Slope and in off shore areas of Alaska.
This gas is important to consumers in the lower 48 states, as prices rise and we are increasingly concerned about the carbon footprint resulting from energy utilization.
If we don’t move now to enact an energy policy that includes more oil and gas production from domestic sources, including ANWR and the federal OCS, we may look back someday and realize that we failed to perceive a critical crossroad in the history of this nation. I don’t think it’s overly dramatic to say that our country’s future and the quality of life for every American depends on the decisions that are made or not made in the next few months.