This partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, November 8, 2001 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House.
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GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've made some proposals to stimulate economic growth which will create new jobs and make America less dependent on foreign oil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: And welcome back to HANNITY & COLMES. I'm Sean Hannity. Since September 11th, the United States' dependency on foreign oil has become a crucial issue for the Bush administration. One domestic resource that has Congress locked in debate is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Joining us now, main supporter of Arctic drilling, Interior Secretary Gale Norton. Good to see you, by the way, in New York, in the studio.
GALE NORTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: Thank you.
HANNITY: We get you out of Washington for a while. It's good to see you. All right, the second largest oil find in American history, right?
NORTON: It's projected that this is our largest undiscovered area.
HANNITY: We may have the equivalent of what we import from Saudi Arabia, according to some estimates, for 30 years. Correct?
NORTON: That's one estimate. It's at least as much as -- we're thinking it's as much as we import from Saddam Hussein for 45 years.
HANNITY: It would take up less than 2,000 acres or one-hundredth of one percent of the refuge in terms of the drilling area?
NORTON: That's right. It would be a very small impact.
HANNITY: It's a vast -- it's pretty much empty space, right, except for the caribou, Alan's favorite. It's...
COLMES: What's wrong with the caribou?
HANNITY: I'm kidding. It's pretty much empty.
NORTON: I've been there twice. It is -- showing pictures of mountains is not what this is.
NORTON: The area is the flat area along the coastal plain. And that's the area where we would be looking for oil because that's where the prediction is.
HANNITY: I'm trying to understand why is this even a controversy?
COLMES: What about Bill Richardson just said? We just had former secretary of energy, Bill Richardson, on who said this is the wrong political hill to die on. Did you hear what he just said?
NORTON: I heard what he said.
COLMES: What do you think about that?
HANNITY: He's wrong.
COLMES: Thank you for -- you threw your voice once again.
Go ahead, yes.
NORTON: He said we should be doing more drilling. We have to do be doing more drilling in the place where the oil is. And the projections are that this area is the best place for us to look on shore in this country for oil.
COLMES: Well, supposedly 95 percent of Alaska's vast north slope is available for oil and gas exploration and leasing. The coastal plain of the Arctic refuge is the last 5 percent that reins off limits for
drilling.. What about the north slope?
NORTON: The north slope is one of the areas that we rely on for oil. We're currently getting about 20 percent of our domestic supply from that area, and ANWR would allow us to continue at those kinds of levels.
COLMES: Let's look at the numbers here. So we reduce our dependence an extra 5 percent. We consume 25 percent of the world's oil. We process less than 4 percent of the global reserve, so we're never going to be oil-independent, really. So all this fight over ANWR seems silly because it's not going to get us where we want to go.
NORTON: We're looking at a comprehensive approach that would reduce our dependence on oil overall, to look at renewable sources, at conservation sources. But we also have to have the oil available
domestically, and ANWR can really provide us with a large percentage of that. We also have to be looking at ways that we can create new jobs. And in this economy, I think that's very important. The projections are that this plan would create over 700,000 jobs.
HANNITY: Forty-five years' worth of what we import from Iraq? Forty -- I did not know that. That's a new statistic. I'm going to write it down.
COLMES: We'll be hearing that...
NORTON: It also means we have -- we're sending out $12 million every day...
NORTON: ... in purchasing oil from Iraq. That's over $4.4 billion a year that we send to Iraq to purchase oil.
HANNITY: We're going to convince Alan...
HANNITY: ... by the end -- by the end of this show tonight.
COLMES: Not so fast, Tonto.
HANNITY: More with Secretary Norton on the other side of the break.
And remember, log onto foxnews.com. You, too, can become a Fox Fan.
We'll be right back.
COLMES: We continue now with Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton.
It's very nice to have you here. We're never going to agree. I don't think, you and the Democrats and me will never agree on ANWR, it seems. But how about making a law that all the oil from federal lands be sold in the United States? Because we do take some Alaskan oil, it's sold to Asia, to Japan. Why would we exporting that, when we're still fighting over the oil we need in this country?
NORTON: As a matter of fact, in the version of the energy legislation that was passed by the House, there was a provision saying that all of the Alaskan oil had to go to use in the...
NORTON: ... lower 48. And so that's something...
COLMES: And we're talking about 60,000 barrels a day gets sold...
NORTON: ... that the administration has -- has approved...
NORTON: ... that we are now looking at the trans-Alaska pipeline oil almost entirely going to the lower 48, anyway.
COLMES: Sixty thousand a day...
NORTON: ... right now.
COLMES: Sixty thousand barrels a day now go to Asia. Is that a mistake?
NORTON: Well, there's a million barrels a day going through the pipeline...
NORTON: ... so 60,000 is fairly small.
COLMES: But if we're ever...
NORTON: I'm not aware of that...
COLMES: ... going to be oil-dependent -- now, we're never going to be oil-dependent -- independent, are we. I mean, we're going to continually be dependent. So why not reversing -- reverse the administration's rollbacks in financing research into other kinds of renewable energy sources?
NORTON: We are looking at other types of renewable energy. And in fact, over half of the recommendations from the president's energy plan dealt with renewables and with conservation and environmental aspects. We're having a seminar in the Department of the Interior, inviting all types of energy -- interested people, environmentalists, producers, to focus on geothermal and wind energy and solar energy and biomass produced from the public lands and how we can enhance those.
HANNITY: Ms. Secretary, you -- will there ever become a day where you envision automobiles running on something other than gasoline or oil -- the use of oil products?
NORTON: It's probably going to be a ways down the road. We certainly hope that we will make progress, and there are some exciting things taking place in terms of technology. We need to have the traditional supply secure for the fairly short term, and then...
HANNITY: Do you see cars running...
NORTON: ... on the long run...
HANNITY: ... on batteries in the future?
NORTON: I think we're going to see electric vehicles as one of the sources, but we get our electricity, in large part...
NORTON: ... from natural gas.
NORTON: And so we -- we need to have a comprehensive approach that allows us to have a good traditional supply at the same time we're getting to the technological advances.
HANNITY: I want to go back to this -- this being, by the lower estimates, the second largest oil find in American history. Right? Isn't that correct?
NORTON: Well, we -- we have assessed the potential in that area, but it has not yet been drilled. And so nobody can say absolutely for sure...
HANNITY: But you expect.
NORTON: ... how much is there. But the anticipation is that it may have as much as Prudhoe Bay does, which would make it the...
HANNITY: And Prudhoe Bay, there were predictions that the caribou would be destroyed. And in fact, none of those predictions came out to be true. As a matter of fact, they thrived because of the heat from the pipes and the equipment, correct?
NORTON: The number of caribou there has gone from 5,000 in 1970 to 27,000 today.
HANNITY: Well, liberals ought to like that.
COLMES: Madam Secretary, we're out of time. Very nice to meet you here in person. Thank you for coming...
NORTON: Very nice to see you.
COLMES: ... visiting us here in New York.
NORTON: Thank you.
COLMES: And don't forget, for all news all day, watch the Fox News Channel, the network America trusts for fair and balanced news. Join us tomorrow night here on HANNITY & COLMES, 9:00 Eastern. Thank you for watching. Have a great night.
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