NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


May 15, 2007

To cut our dependence on foreign oil, the President should consider sources we know will provide the energy to drive our ever-growing economy, including drilling for oil both in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and off our coasts, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).


  • ANWR and the outer continental shelf are rich with crude; just a tiny 2,000-acre tract in the 19 million acres of ANWR holds at least 10 billion barrels of oil and possibly as much as 16 billion.
  • From that, according to former Interior Secretary Gail Norton, we could be extracting about 1.4 million barrels a day; that would put a 13 percent dent in our imports.
  • An even bigger supply lies just off the coast of the lower 48 states; according to the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, an additional 85.8 billion barrels of heretofore unknown reserves can be recovered from the outer continental shelf -- 3 1/2 times our current proved reserves.
  • All told, 131 billion barrels of oil and more than 1,000 trillion cubic feet of natural gas sit within our own boundaries, reports the American Petroleum Institute.

The White House also should be taking the argument for increased nuclear power to Congress and the public, says IBD.

  • Atomic energy now provides nearly 20 percent of our electricity needs, but that's far less than what it could be delivering. Nuclear power accounts for about 80 percent of France's electricity, 55 percent of Belgium's, half of Sweden's and 40 percent of Switzerland's and South Korea's.
  • It takes only 0.0007 of a pound of uranium in a commercial reactor to burn a 100-watt light bulb for one year; that same bulb would require 876 pounds of coal or 508 pounds of oil to get the same results, the Nuclear Energy Institute says.

Source: Editorial, "Energy Policy: Keep It Comprehensive," Investor's Business Daily, May 14, 2007.


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