In accordance with the Bush administration’s plan to increase domestic oil production, for the purpose of reducing foreign dependencies, the most recent Energy Bill put forth by Republicans would allow for exploration and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  The proposed bill, however, may actually have much more far reaching impact than just Alaska.



The key consideration is to address our need for additional “energy resources,” along with noting that energy does not equate to oil.  Further, there is no mention of reducing public consumption through conservation efforts or promoting technological enhancements.  In fact, tax breaks for the purchase of hybrid vehicles will end in 2006, and be significantly reduced after 2005 from $2,000 dollars to only a few hundred dollars (1).


Government emphasis should be on identifying a long term solution to our energy issues, such as promoting advanced hybrid vehicles, and the future fuel cell powered cars.  Both of these technologies could significantly reduce our oil imports within 10 years.


Instead, the administration has secured Iraqi oil for the immediate future, and now desires to extend drilling into Alaska.


An alarming provision of the Energy bill would prevent states from submitting impact assessments in disputing Federal decisions on drilling sites.  This could mean the oil tankers and platforms within the next few years off the coasts of Florida and California (2).


The Administration’s plan will leave the US oil dependent for many decades to come. 



Reference:
1. House Passes Energy Bill Amid Cost Concerns
2. Energy bill has Floridians nervous