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Senate Votes to Allow Arctic Drilling

WASHINGTON - Amid the backdrop of soaring oil and gasoline prices, a sharply divided Senate on Wednesday voted to open the ecologically rich Alaska wildlife refuge to oil drilling, delivering a major energy policy win for President Bush (news - web sites).

AP Photo

The Senate, by a 51-49 vote, rejected an attempt by Democrats and GOP moderates to remove a refuge drilling provision from next year's budget, preventing opponents from using a filibuster ? a tactic that has blocked repeated past attempts to open the Alaska refuge to oil companies.

The action, assuming Congress agrees on a budget, clears the way for approving drilling in the refuge later this year, drilling supporters said.

The oil industry has sought for more than two decades to get access to what is believed to be billions of barrels of oil beneath the 1.5 million-acre coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the northern eastern corner of Alaska.

Environmentalists have fought such development and argued that despite improve environmental controls a web of pipelines and drilling platforms would harm calving caribou, polar bears and millions of migratory birds that use the coastal plain.

Bush has called tapping the reserve's oil a critical part of the nation's energy security and a way to reduce America's reliance on imported oil, which account for more than half of the 20 million barrels of crude use daily. The Alaska refuge could supply as much as 1 million barrels day at peak production, drilling supporters said.

"We won't see this oil for 10 years. It will have minimal impact," argued Sen. Maria Cantwell (news, bio, voting record), D-Wash., a co-sponsor of the amendment that would have stripped the arctic refuge provision from the budget document. It is "foolish to say oil development and a wildlife refuge can coexist," she said.

Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites), D-Mass., argued that more oil would be saved if Congress enacted an energy policy focusing on conservation, more efficient cars and trucks and increased reliance on renewable fuels and expanded oil development in the deep-water Gulf where there are significant reserves.

"The fact is (drilling in ANWR) is going to be destructive," said Kerry.

and of course the man with a plan lol
has to have a say lol


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Well even if it takes ten years

In reply to: Senate Votes to Allow Arctic Drilling

(it took nearly that long for the Alaska Pipeline to be up and running), this would blow the theory that we're in Iraq for their oil right out of the water, now doesn't it?

We are damned if we do and we're damned if we don't, but critics have hollered for years about how we're too dependent on foreign oil....

How is Kerry and other opponents going to feel if the wildlife in ANWR will suffer as opposed to having some rig in the gulf spring a leak and kill the waterlife instead? Has he never heard of Exxon and that tanker and all the destruction that happened from a mishap? The risks are there no matter what direction we head.....north or south.....so where's a real plan from them that is risk-free?


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Toni the area set aside

In reply to: Well even if it takes ten years

to explore is small and the inviremetals agreed on it now there back sliding as usual for there kind.

but wait till Kerry stands firm on a plan oh what am i saying he cant takes testicular fortitude to stand up for something

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And if they had acted 4 years ago ...

In reply to: Well even if it takes ten years

... we would be six years out! Hoping it finally goes through this time. These NE Senators (Lieberman sadly among them) like to cry and whine about oil prices (cost me a small fortune this winter :() -- their latest brainstorm is to release strategic reserves!! -- but they don't want to do anything practical to improve it.

Evie Happy

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In reply to: And if they had acted 4 years ago ...

you release stratigic reserves, don't you have to refill and repalce it? (currently at a MUCH higher cost)

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And remember

In reply to: And if they had acted 4 years ago ...

no wind turbines in my back yard over 75 percent of the Alaskans do want this in their back yard.

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my 2 bits

In reply to: Senate Votes to Allow Arctic Drilling

first we are talk about;
Drilling pads total 2,000 acres, or less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the refuge.

Environmentalists Ignore The FACTS that caribou went from 3,000 to 36,000

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In reply to: Senate Votes to Allow Arctic Drilling

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why arg

In reply to: (NT) ARRRRRGH !!!

the area was agreed on why do we need to wait or not drill?

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