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Arctic Oil Would Help in Gasoline Shortage

June 06, 2004

The Times' May 20 editorial on U.S. energy policy claims that oil from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would not help the current gasoline situation. In fact, it would make a significant difference. Using even the lowest estimates of ANWR's reserves, the area could produce 1 million barrels of oil per day for at least 10 years. Had President Clinton not vetoed an environmentally sound proposal to begin work in a small section of ANWR, U.S. consumers today could be receiving 1 million barrels of oil per day from the area.

The editorial also accuses the administration of dismissing energy conservation efforts, including higher fuel efficiency standards. Conservation -- including better fuel efficiency -- is a key component of the president's energy policy. The administration has instituted conservation initiatives including the first increase in fuel economy standards for SUVs and light trucks since 1996 -- the largest such increase in 20 years.

It has also developed efficiency standards for home appliances and commercial equipment that have saved consumers more than $25 billion in electricity costs and has launched such programs as the Smart Energy Campaign to encourage energy efficiency in homes, schools and businesses.

Spencer Abraham

U.S. Secretary of Energy

Washington

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