27 House Republicans Threaten ANWR Drilling

Twenty-seven anti-energy Republicans are holding the House budget reconciliation package hostage until the provisions to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Outer Continental Shelf areas to oil and gas production are taken out.

This is outrageous. Americans by a wide margin think that the biggest economic issue facing the country is high energy prices.

The only proposal that has a chance of being enacted this year that would address that concern is the package put together by House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo included in the budget reconciliation bill.

What these liberal Republicans are saying really is, "We don’t think energy prices are a problem. In fact, we don’t think energy prices are high enough." As natural gas and heating oil prices go through the roof this winter, this position may become even more unpopular than it is now.

Majority Leader Roy Blunt (R.-Mo.) and the House Republican leadership are trying to save the ANWR provision. I’ve included a list of signers of the letter opposing ANWR below. Please contact them and let them know that you think energy prices are too high and that you support opening ANWR.

The Battleground Poll for October 9-12 asked 1,003 registered likely voters, "Which of these issues is the biggest economic issue facing the country? Would you say it is: health care costs, the deficit, taxes, jobs and unemployment, inflation, the stock market, energy and gas prices, or interest rates?”

In a similar poll in March, the top concern was health care costs at 35%. In the latest poll, health care costs have dropped to second place with 20%. Energy and gas prices, which weren’t even included in the March poll, came first at 34%.

Might there be a connection between this concern and plummeting re-elect numbers for members of one of the parties in Congress?

Below are the signers of the November 8 letter to Rep. David Dreier (R.-Calif.) opposing ANWR and threatening to oppose the budget reconciliation bill if it contains ANWR.

Clay Shaw, FL-22

Vernon Ehlers, MI-3

Sue Kelly, NY-19

James Walsh, NY-25

Michael Fitzpatrick, PA-8

Jim Gerlach, PA-6

Thomas Petri, WI-6

Mark Kirk, IL-10

Jim Leach, IA-2

Mark Kennedy, MN-6

Jim Ramstad, MN-3

Jeb Bradley, NH-1

Frank LoBiondo, NJ-2

Dave Reichert, WA-8

Nancy L. Johnson, CT-5

Christopher Shays, CT-4

Rob Simmons, CT-2

Mike Castle, DE

Tim Johnson, IL-15

Roscoe Bartlett, MD-6

Wayne Gilchrest, MD-1

Joe Schwarz, MI-7

Charles Bass, NH-2

Rodney Frelinghuysen, NJ-11

Jim Saxton, NJ-3

Chris Smith, NJ-4

Sherwood Boehlert, NY-24