National Security Issue

Bush Energy Policy Is Right For America

Press Conference: 11 am

March 21, 2002 Contact: Hugh Newton

Senate Swamp 703-807-2070



Statement by 60 Plus Association President Jim Martin

Washington, DC –My Friends in the Energy Stewardship Alliance and I are working hard to get a sane national energy bill passed by the Senate. We need a bill, similar to H.R. 4– which includes drilling in the tiny area of the huge Arctic refuge. Democrats and Republicans alike passed that bill in the House with a hefty margin because they knew it was the right thing to do.

It’s time to stop playing politics with America’s energy security. The week to come is crucial to our efforts to open ANWR and to enact commonsense legislation which polls tell us the American people– and Alaskan citizens– overwhelmingly support.

Economic benefits abound in the President’s plan: 250,000 to 750,000 new jobs. Less dependency on foreign oil. Now at 55%, and rising toward 65%, it has jumped from 37% in the Carter era. Development and wildlife coexist. Caribou herds of 3,000 are now over 20,000.

But most important, the President has not gone on bended knee to the OPEC cartel. Clearly the country recognizes that this has become a national security issue. President Bush states it rather bluntly, that more than 50% of our oil comes from places where ‘sometimes they like us and sometimes they don’t.’ He wants to end that dependency.

Remember, this isn’t a debate about ecology or biology, it’s strictly about politics. The environmentalists have been telling us about all sorts of disasters that drilling will cause. There’s not a word of truth in it.

Their allies in the Senate, especially Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD) parrot these untruths, saying it’s all about the environment. It isn’t about the environment. It’s about national security. I don’t question Senator Daschle’s patriotism, but I do question his judgment– politics over the national interest. We’re at war. The twin towers are gone. The mighty Pentagon almost destroyed. Do they have to knock down Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota before Senator Daschle realizes this is a national emergency. It’s time to stop this dependency on foreign oil once and for all.

I conclude with this message to Senator Tom Daschle: allow a vote on ANWR– it’ll pass with a minimum of 54 to 58 votes.