Fred Upton: Open ANWR to oil drilling

Filed in Gather Politics News Channel by on December 8, 2010 0 Comments

Republicans have selected Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) as the new head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. While generally viewed as the more moderate choice for the position, which was also coveted by Representative Joe Barton (R-TX), Upton is already working to breathe new life into the GOP’s decades long fight to open up the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. This week, he penned a letter urging President Obama to reject calls by Senate Democrats to permanently close the refuge to drilling.

“I understand the politics of ANWR very well,” Upton said in a press release on Monday. If that’s true, he’d know that any proposal to hand ANWR over to the big oil companies is a nonstarter. Big oil and its allies in Washington have been trying unsuccessfully to pass legislation that would open a 1.5 million acre chunk of the refuge to drilling since 1980, according to a timeline posted on With the BP oil spill still fresh in the public mind, now seems like a rather strange time for Republicans to want to revisit this particular issue.

Upton was apparently on a different planet during the five month period that saw millions of gallons of oil pour into the Gulf of Mexico. “… there have been adequate technological advances whereby it is possible to increase our nation’s domestic energy supply while preserving the sanctity of nature,” he wrote in his letter to the President. The so called “adequate technologies” that Upton and the oil industry love to champion were an epic failure when put to the test this year, just as they were when the Exxon Valdez spilled around 11 million gallons of oil in Alaska’s Prince William Sound back in 1989.

Even Upton acknowledges that it would take ten years for oil production in ANWR to get underway. Why not spend that decade investing in technologies that will help to reduce our reliance on oil and create diversity in the energy marketplace? Innovation has always been the backbone of the U.S. economy. It’s time to start implementing the energy solutions of the future, not the past.





Official Congressional portrait of Representative Fred Upton from Wikipedia Commons. Public domain


Article ©2010 David Anderson for All rights reserved


About the Author ()

A political junkie from the first in the nation presidential primary state of New Hampshire!

Leave a Reply