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Democrats to Fight ANWR Drilling in Defense Bill

by Pamela Leavey

I posted yesterday about Senator Stevens plan to insert ANWR drilling into the Defense Department budget bill. It’s astounding that that they keep hammering away at this absurd idea that there is enough oil to make a difference. The BIG OIL folks with their BIG OIL agenda will stop at nothing to try to slip this by. Senate Democrats said on Thursday “they will fight an effort by Republicans to use a must-pass Defense Department budget bill to open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.”

Tapping into the refuge’s potential 10 billion barrels of crude oil is a key part of the Bush administration’s national energy plan to boost domestic petroleum supplies and reduce America’s addiction to foreign oil imports.

Drilling supporters see attaching the ANWR provision to the defense spending measure as their last-ditch effort to finally give oil companies access to the refuge after a group of House of Representative Republicans threatened to kill a separate budget deficit reduction bill if that legislation contained the drilling language.

Most Democrats are against drilling in the refuge and argue the Defense Department budget bill should not be used to settle the issue.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said if the ANWR drilling language is in the defense spending legislation Democrats would argue it violates Senate rules because the provision is not related to defense issues. “The (Senate) parliamentarian will rule in our favor,” Reid told reporters.

“It’s appalling that the United States Senate is willing to hold our troops and hurricane victims hostage to their desperate attempts to satisfy big oil and drill in the Arctic Refuge,” said John Kerry.

The Sierra Club sent out an Action Alert — “Call your Senators RIGHT NOW at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to do everything in their power to stop the drilling lobby from hijacking the Defense spending bill with Arctic Refuge drilling.”

4 Responses to “Democrats to Fight ANWR Drilling in Defense Bill”

  1. Back door politics at its best. They just dont get it. Leave the Artic Refuge Alone.

  2. If Senator Stevens wants to drill for oil so bad he should get it from his own f**king state.

  3. I think we have to start threatening to drill in and around Hawaii. How much oil?

    Our Senators (D), always voting to drill in other people’s pretty backyards, are popular to Hawaiians for their the GOP to support native Hawaiian heritage rights.

    Wanna bet they get dissed at the end, and the GOP stalls or doesn’t pay on their promise?

  4. Martha,

    Stevens does want to drill in his state, he’s a Senator from AK.

    He’s also the one that got a huge amount of pork in the transportation bill for his state. Including the
    $200-300 million or something “bridge to nowhere”, which was to be named after him.

    He even had a temper tantrum on the floor later after some other Senators tried to remove it.(After the waste became public knowledge, many folks were outraged, well not GOP wing-nuts of course, they love to waste and steal Fed $)

    Stevens said if they took away his bridge he’d take his ball and go home(he’d quit the Senate). After I saw his little 2 year old spoiled child temper tantrum on the floor it was clear that in any normal world the vote would have been 99-1 to remove it. Of course instead, the GOP just removed the earmark of the money for the bridge but still gave AK the money, which they could then still decide to use for his bridge or anything else they want to throw it away on.