Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Cantwell:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly supports legislation expected to be considered on November 15, 2017, that would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to establish and administer a competitive oil and gas leasing program in the non-wilderness portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
The Section 1002 area that would be eligible for leasing under this legislation makes up less than 8% of the refuge, and Congress has previously authorized exploratory activities in this area. The United States Geological Survey estimates that the 1002 area contains as much as 10 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil.
Alaskan energy production remains critical to U.S. energy security. Bringing this additional U.S. oil on-line helps ensure a more secure energy future for the U.S. and our trading partners around the world.