Trump On Opening ANWR: Not Even Reagan Could Get It Done


Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
Font Size:

President Donald Trump touted how tax cut legislation he signed last year accomplished something former President Ronald Reagan and many other presidents couldn’t — opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to drilling.

Trump highlighted the opening of ANWR during a speech in West Virginia on Thursday. Trump said “a friend of mine called up who’s in that world and in that business said, ‘is it true that you’re thinking about ANWR.'”

“I said, ‘yeah, I think we’re going to get it, but you know’ — he said, ‘are you kidding, that’s the biggest thing by itself. Ronald Reagan and every president has wanted to get ANWR approved,'” Trump said.

“And after that I said, ‘oh, make sure that’s in the bill,'” Trump said.

The GOP tax bill ended a decades-long political battle of drilling for oil and gas in ANWR. The bill opened the 1.5 million acre 1002 area along Alaska’s Arctic coastline to drilling.

The so-called coastal plain is just 8 percent of ANWR’s total area, but environmentalists and Democrats have fought tooth and nail to keep it off limits to drilling. ANWR is estimated to hold as much as 10 billion barrels of oil.

Republican Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski pushed through a reconciliation bill to raise $1 billion over 10 years through opening the 1002 area to oil and gas drilling. The bill became part of the GOP’s overall $1.5 trillion tax cut plan.

“I didn’t really care about it, and then when I heard everybody wanted it — for forty years they’ve been trying to get it approved and I said ‘make sure you don’t lose ANWR,'” Trump said.

“But it’s great for the people of Alaska, and Senator Sullivan, Senator Murkowski, … are very happy campers,'” Trump said pointing to the lawmakers.

Follow Michael on Facebook and Twitter

Freedom of Speech Isn’t Free
The Daily Caller News Foundation is working hard to balance out the biased American media. For as little as $3, you can help us. Make a one-time donation to support the quality, independent journalism of TheDCNF. We’re not dependent on commercial or political support and we do not accept any government funding.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact