Shimkus: 'Silly We're Not in ANWR Now'

Rep. John Shimkus (R.-Ill.) is the first guest at the State of the Union Blog Row. He said he’d like President Bush to make energy policy the centerpiece of his State of the Union address.

Shimkus, who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the United States must start reducing its reliance on foreign sources of oil. He said drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should be a top priority.

“Some day we’ll be in ANWR,” Shimkus said. “It’s silly we’re not there now.”

Shimkus noted that it might take the cost of a barrel of oil hitting $100 or even $200 to prompt Congress to take that step, though.

UPDATE: Shimkus used the occasion to make his feelings known about Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s re-election bid this November.

“Gov. Blagojevich is beatable,” said Shimkus, who added that Republican frontrunner Judy Barr Topinka could certainly knock off the one-term governor. (Topinka must first survive a Republican primary challenge.)