NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 6, 2008

Our struggle with high gas prices is a direct result of our failed energy policies, says columnist George F. Will.  America says to foreign producers: We prefer not to pump our oil, so please pump more of yours. 

Consider the potential of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): 

  • If President Bill Clinton had not vetoed legislation to permit drilling in ANWR, an estimated one million barrels could be flowing from there today.
  • One million barrels would produce 27 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel.
  • ANWR is larger than the combined areas of five states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware), and drilling along its coastal plain would be confined to a space one-sixth the size of Washington's Dulles airport.
  • The U.S. Minerals Management Service says that restricted area of ANWR contains perhaps 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas -- 10 times as much oil and 20 times as much natural gas as Americans use in a year.

Concern over the potential damage due to oil spills has been exaggerated, says Will:

  • There has not been a significant spill from an offshore U.S. well since 1969.
  • Of the more than 7 billion barrels of oil pumped offshore in the past 25 years, 0.001 percent -- that is one-thousandth of 1 percent -- has been spilled.

Source: "The Gas Prices We Deserve," George F. Will, Washington Post, June 5, 2008.

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