Photo; Oil Platforms have an aesthetic beauty all of their own.
Platts reports that John Boehner, the House minority leader has argued that opening up ANWR could be done without harm to its fragile environment. "It is possible for energy production and wildlife protection to co-exist in the region," he wrote in an Internet blog of the trip by the 11 lawmakers.
The US House of Representatives' top Republican, leading a group of House Republicans touring Alaska oil and natural gas facilities Monday, insisted the contested Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could be developed in an environmentally-sensitive manner.
For example, the Ohio Republican noted that a local caribou herd has increased in size from 5,000 to 30,000 animals since oil production began in BP's Alaska North Slope Prudhoe Bay field in the 1970s.
In addition to taking a flyover tour of ANWR, which Republicans have long wanted to open up to energy development, the delegation also took flew over the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, where a major lease sale is slated for this fall, and toured BP's Endicott Production Facility at Prudhoe Bay.
Nancy Pelosi however maintains she would not entertain any Republican efforts to allow drilling in ANWR or other closed areas of the Outer Continental Shelf.
Meanwhile Anchorage Daily News reports that Gov. Sarah Palin has invited Republican presidential candidate John McCain to see ANWR.
"I'm asking him to come up and see ANWR," Republican Gov. Sarah Palin told me Saturday during the centennial meeting of the National Governors Association here. As to her discussions so far with McCain, Palin said, "We agreed to disagree." But, she quickly added, "I am encouraged with his evolved thinking on offshore drilling, and I think he might come along on ANWR if he sees our 2,000 acres for himself."
This would be an excellent opportunity for McCain to come full circle and aggressively support drilling, as well as to see for himself the type of VP who can help him win the election. This one can be won at the fuel pumps of America, and it makes a lot of sense.
Obama is boxing himself into a corner nicely by criticizing the idea of more drilling as well as greater use of nuclear generation.