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Monday, April 11, 2005

Senator: 'Nothing to keep ANWR oil in U.S.'

Interviewed in the Rapid City Journal on Saturday, South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson (D) confirmed what has been reported here and elsewhere: There are currently no guarantees that oil extracted from the Arctic Refuge will go to American consumers.

The interview focused on Johnson's differences with his fellow S.D. senator, John Thune, a Republican. Among those differences: Johnson opposed the March 16 Senate vote to allow oil drilling in ANWR, while Thune supported it.

Johnson told the paper he opposed ANWR for two reasons. One is that he simply favors a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to the Lower 48. The other is that "there's nothing to keep that (ANWR) oil in the United States," he said.

This supports the information previously gathered here, and also comments made elsewhere by drilling critics and oil industry analysts. There is no legal language right now that prevents ANWR oil from being exported.

This clearly contradicts the claim that ANWR will help the U.S. reduce its dependence on imported oil, a leading argument for opening the refuge to drilling.

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