Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ron Johnson on ANWR: Drill, Baby, Drill

No surprises here:

In interviews with The Associated Press, businessmen Ron Johnson of Oshkosh and Dave Westlake of Watertown said it's safer to drill in Alaska's so-called ANWR (pronounced ON'-wahr) region because any spill would be immediately accessible to emergency crews.

"ANWR may be environmentally sensitive but it may be easier to drill up there and with less environmental impact than trying to drill in very deep water," Johnson said. "You know, these oil rigs are being forced so far offshore. By doing that we're just increasing the risks."


When asked whether the Gulf spill should prompt more caution before undertak ing new oil-drilling projects, Johnson said no. There are lessons to be learned, he said, but he has strong faith in American technology and ingenuity for drilling safely and with minimal environmental impact.


Some say the spill reflects a shortcoming of President Barack Obama's administration. Neither Johnson nor Westlake agreed with such criticism, as each Republican noted that an administration can do only so much to prepare for the unknown.

Feingold, Johnson and Westlake agree that oil drilling in some form is a vital part of America's long-term energy policy. Feingold said he opposed drilling in ANWR but favored drilling only in areas that have already been properly vetted for environmental safety.

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