Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Should drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) be allowed?
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, stated the following in a 2007 League of Conservation Voters questionnaire, as quoted in an article titled "Presidential Candidates Views on ANWR [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge]: The Democrats," available at anwr.org (accessed Mar. 20, 2012):
"I strongly reject drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge because it would irreversibly damage a protected national wildlife refuge without creating sufficient oil supplies to meaningfully affect the global market price or have a discernable impact on US energy security." 2007 Barack Obama
[Editors' Note:US Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar explained the Obama Administration’s opposition to drilling in ANWR in a Mar. 4, 2011 article titled "Interior Secretary Says White House Opposes Drilling in Arctic Because It Will Not Lead to Energy Security," available at cnsnews.com. When asked by CNSNews.com "Given the rising cost of gasoline why is the administration opposed to drilling in the arctic refuge?," Salazar responded "We don't believe that you need to drill everywhere and we don't believe that the 'drill, baby, drill' program is the way that's going to get us to the energy independence that we need for America..."]
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following in a Mar. 2, 2012 open letter to the voters of Alaska, available at mittromney.com:
"I understand the Alaska pipeline is running less than one-third full. As president, I would push to open new opportunities for America’s energy security, onshore and offshore, especially in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I would not have dragged my feet on exploration and development of major prospects onshore and offshore as this Administration has.
In a Romney Administration, you will find permitting reform that will help Alaska unlock its potential, statewide. The federal government should be an ally in the effort to develop more of our nation's resources, not an obstacle. We will respect the rights Alaska gained with Statehood -- including control of Alaska lands, waters, and wildlife." Mar. 2, 2012 Mitt Romney
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives (R-GA), wrote the following in his 2008 book cowritten with Vince Haley Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less: A Handbook for Slashing Gas Prices and Solving Our Energy Crisis:
“Drilling in ANWR is effectively banned until Congress votes to allow it. In 1995, those of us in Congress who wanted to lesson our dependence on foreign oil passed a bill to allow drilling in ANWR only to see it vetoed by President Clinton…
Unfortunately, Congress continues to oppose lifting the ANWR ban to this day, and Americans continue to pay more at the pump.” 2008 Newt Gingrich
[Editor's Note: Prior to Newt Gingrich's 2008 Pro position above, he held a Con position as indicated by the below open letter from Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director at the time of the quote, to then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich in a 1995 issue of Sierra:]
"As a Sierra Club member, Mr. Gingrich, you opposed drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, calling it a '188-day quick fix' for America's energy future. 'Fuel efficiency and conservation measures have a greater potential for providing longterm energy security for our nation,' you said in response to a Sierra Club questionnaire. 'The dramatic increases in fuel efficiency seen in America's automotive fleet are evidence of how we can meet energy needs of the future.'" 1995 Newt Gingrich
[Editor's Note: On Apr. 20, 2005, Ron Paul voted against H.AMDT.72, an amendment to the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The amendement, introduced by Congressman Edward J. Markey, would have protected the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling.]
Rick Santorum, former US Senator (R-PA), stated the following during a Feb. 16, 2012 speech, "GOP Primary Candidate Rick Santorum's Speech to the Detroit Economic Club," available at www.freep.com:
"I want to open up Alaska for the Alaskan wildlife refuge to create more opportunities for us to extract oil from the north slope of Alaska. It used to produce two million barrels a day. It's now down to a half million and in a few years, it will be down to the point where the pipeline won't work anymore because there's not enough flow to move the oil. So within less than 10 years we will lose five million barrels of oil a day." Feb. 16, 2012 Rick Santorum