In recent weeks, America has seen gas under two bucks a gallon. Thatâ€™s less than a gallon of milk.
Increased supply has reduced cost.
This is why energy independence is so important. So, itâ€™s surprising. No. Itâ€™s shocking. President Barack Obama wants to permanently end any chance of tapping into the billions of barrels of Alaskan oil.
Following the 1980 election, 75 million acres in Alaska were designated as federally protected. It was the work of lame duck President Jimmy Carter and a lame duck Congress. Nearly 20 million of those acres became the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or ANWR.
There are 2,000 acres in the refuge set aside for potential oil extraction. Thatâ€™s less than one-hundredth of one percent. Itâ€™s called Area 10-02. Think of it as a postage stamp on a football field. Itâ€™s that small.
[Area 10-02 got its name from section 1002 of the “Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.”]
To the west is Prudhoe Bay. Where thereâ€™s been oil drilling for four decades.
To the east is Kaktovik, a village of about 250 Inuit. I interviewed villagers. They favor drilling.
To make its point about saving the environment, the White House released a video. It shows animals frolicking among wildflowers and babbling brooks.
Thereâ€™s a problem. These images are from south of the Brooks mountain range. Area 10-02 is on Alaskaâ€™s North Slope. Itâ€™s actually a barren, desolate area. Itâ€™s peat tundra without trees or permanent wildlife that sits on permafrost.
Washington politicians should stop misleading the public. And stop obstructing American energy independence.
[The absurdity of efforts to prevent drilling in the U.S. is highlighted by a House bill passed in 2008 that would have the Justice Department sue OPEC nations for not producing more oil to meet U.S. needs. ANWR opponents believe other countries have an obligation to do exactly what they oppose the U.S. could be doing at home.]