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Washington, DC -- The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) warned today that even if oil companies were to secure the right to extract more crude oil from protected wildlife refuges in Alaska the oil could be exported for use in other countries under legislation pending before the US Senate.

"Destroying the Alaskan wilderness so that oil companies can make more money in Singapore isn't in the interest of the American public," said FTCR president Jamie Court, who has tracked the oil industry's use of exports to drive up domestic gasoline and heating oil prices. "The drive to open up Alaska to oil company derricks has no guarantees that the crude oil will be used in America. This could be the biggest giveaway to Big Oil at the expense of America and Americans in United States history."

Earlier this year FTCR reported on Department of Energy data showing that oil companies exported 1.5 billion more gallons of liquid heating products in the first seven months of 2005 than during the same period last year. That amount is about 20 times greater than the size of the entire North East Strategic Reserve for heating oil. At the same time, the Energy Department numbers show that imports are falling. With a severe winter, that's a recipe for big profits for oil companies and impossible choices for consumers.

For more information on FTCR's research on gas prices and the oil industry's manipulation of supply visit: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/energy/gasprices/

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