'We will regret that we failed to perceive a critical crossroads'

Alaska Gov. Sarah H. Palin, responding on Jan. 14 to US Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman's (I-Conn.) introduction of a bill to designate the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's coastal plain as wilderness.

Alaska Gov. Sarah H. Palin, responding on Jan. 14 to US Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman's (I-Conn.) introduction of a bill to designate the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's coastal plain as wilderness:

"The development of oil and clean-burning natural gas isn't a panacea. However, this development should be authorized in comprehensive legislation that includes alternative fuels, fuel efficiency, and conservation.

"Americans know that gasoline and other refined crude oil products will keep fueling our transportation system for the foreseeable future. Further, the soaring prices of food, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and other products illustrate the importance of petroleum to the health and well-being of America.

"Another important reality is that the location and quantity of oil production are drastically changing world geopolitics. Energy-producing countries are rapidly gaining world power. Several of these countries have objectives and value systems that are antithetical to US interests.

"Washington politicians should be horrified as we become increasingly dependent on these insecure, foreign sources while our U.S. petrodollars finance activities that harm America and our economic and military interests around the world.

"If we don't move now to enact a comprehensive energy policy that includes domestic oil and gas production, including ANWR, we will look back someday and regret that we failed to perceive a critical crossroads in the history of America. It's not overly dramatic to say our nation's future depends on the decisions made by the federal government over the next few months."

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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