Recent Press Releases

Thune to visit Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Senator joins Cabinet Secretaries, other Senators to explore potential oil source

March 3, 2005

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune announced today that he would travel to a potential oil field in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska this weekend as part of his ongoing efforts to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil.

The Senator said the trip would help efforts to push a national energy policy through the U.S. Senate.

“South Dakota’s economy is very dependent on energy,” Thune said. “When I was in the House, we passed an energy policy, but it got stuck in the Senate. I’m going to Alaska to learn more about ANWR and stay engaged in the energy debate. By seeing ANWR first-hand, I’ll be able to more effectively push for a comprehensive energy policy that reduces our nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil.”

Joining Thune on the trip is Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, Interior Secretary Gale Norton, and Sens. Pete Dominici (NM), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Robert Bennett (UT), and Jim Bunning (KY).

Experts say ANWR is the single largest and most promising onshore oil reserve in North America. Once developed, ANWR would provide the United States with about 900,000 barrels a day – about 4.5 percent of today’s consumption – for the next 30 years, according to Energy Information Administration. By contrast, the United States imports 1.5 million barrels a day from Saudi Arabia.