From The San Francisco Chronicle
Bush Administration officials Gale Norton and Elaine Chao waged a last-minute campaign to change the minds of moderate House Republicans who oppose opening the oil-rich area to development...but the two dozen House GOP moderates who pledged last month to vote against any budget bill that approved drilling in the Alaskan refuge insist they won't bow to pressure from the White House or offers of money for pet projects.
From Washington Post:
Interior Secretary Gale Norton, campaigning to win oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, had the urgency of a saleswoman falling short of her monthly quota.
"ANWR would supply every drop of petroleum for Florida for 29 years," she told a friendly audience at the Heritage Foundation yesterday, "New York for 34 years, Illinois for 43 years, California for 16 years or New Hampshire for 315 years."
So how many years would ANWR's oil keep the whole country fueled up?
Norton balked at the question. "When you look at it for the whole country, you really get somewhat of a deceiving picture," the secretary answered. She said that's "not the way this operates," and said the question "assumes that unless a source of energy is going to meet all of America's needs then it's not worth looking at."
For the record, ANWR's oil, using the administration's own estimates, would supply the whole country for 13 to 17 months before it runs out. But Norton's argument -- that it is acceptable to promise New Hampshire oil for three centuries but "deceiving" to ask about the whole country -- underscored the tension gripping ANWR-drilling proponents as Congress approaches another climactic decision on the Alaskan refuge this week.