According to the DOE report, expected savings from drilling in the protected space would amount to 75 cents per barrel of oil. This information comes in a year when the $100/barrel record was broken only a few months ago and now oil is trading at $130/barrel. A few quarters per barrel will not make a dent in the price at the pump.
The report was initiated by Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. His hope was that the report would uncover larger savings for consumers and would bolster support for opening ANWR. For several years, Senator Stevens has tried to open ANWR to oil drilling by sneaking provisions into budget bills or by using other legislative procedures. To this day, he has failed to successfully change the federal government's ANWR policy.
Adding insult to injury for Stevens were some other revelations in the DOE report. The report stated that opening up ANWR "is not projected to have a large impact on world oil prices." The report also revealed that it would take 10 years to drill the oil out of the ground and get it to consumers. Finally, the DOE found that consumer demand for oil is predicted to decline in the future due to new fuel efficiency standards put in place by Congress last year.
The only good news Stevens could find in the report was the section that said opening ANWR would extend the lifespan of the trans-Alaska pipeline.
Things have not been going well for Sen. Stevens' political career this year. A Grand Jury is investigating campaign contributions from employees of the oil pipeline corporation VECO (you can read about the investigation HERE). Polls in Alaska also have Steven's Democratic opponent beating him in a race for the Senate seat that will be up for a vote in November.
To read more about the DOE report, click HERE.