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post #1 of 52 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Senate passes bill to allow drilling in Wildlife Refuge

So the vote passed to allow drilling in the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It's not that I'm specifically against drilling for oil, I'm against drilling for oil in a National Park. What's the point of making it a national park, meant to preserve something, if you're going to mess it up? What's your opinion on this?
Here's an article:
Senate OKs oil drilling in refuge in Alaska
By 51-49 vote, ANWR measure goes into budget for next year; House did not include provision in its version; Environmentalists have fought access, saying it would harm animals on plain
From Wire Reports
Originally published March 17, 2005
WASHINGTON - Amid the backdrop of soaring oil and gasoline prices, a sharply divided Senate voted yesterday to open Alaska's ecologically rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, handing President Bush a major victory on energy policy and environmentalists a stinging defeat.

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 attempts to open the Alaska refuge to oil companies.

Drilling supporters acknowledged after the vote that for refuge development to get final approval Congress must pass a final budget with the Senate provision included.

Still, "this is a big step," said Sen. Ted Stevens, an Alaska Republican, who said he had tried for 24 years to open the refuge.

The budget is immune from a filibuster, meaning that drilling supporters will need only a majority - not the 60 votes required to break a filibuster - to succeed when the issue comes up for final action.

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 refuge in the northeastern corner of Alaska.

Yesterday's action marked a turning point in the long-running debate over drilling in the Arctic, one of the most contentious environmental issues in Congress and a key element of Bush's energy policy.

Alaska Gov. Frank H. Murkowski, a former Republican senator, said he was "more optimistic than ever" that the drilling would occur.

Environmentalists have fought such development and argued that despite 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 accounts for more than half of the 20 million barrels of crude oil used daily.

The Alaska refuge could supply as much as 1 million barrels a day at peak production, drilling supporters said. But they acknowledge that even if ANWR's oil is tapped, it would have no effect on soaring oil prices and tight supplies. The first lease sales would not be issued until 2007, followed by development seven to 10 years later, Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton said.

"It will have minimal impact," said Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Washington Democrat and 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, a Massachusetts Democrat, argued that more oil would be saved if Congress enacted an energy policy focusing on conservation, more efficient cars and trucks, increased reliance on renewable fuels, and expanded oil development in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, where there are significant reserves.

"The fact is [drilling in ANWR] is going to be destructive," Kerry said.

But drilling proponents argued that modern drilling technology can safeguard the refuge and still tap the likely - though not yet certain - 10.4 billion barrels of crude oil in the refuge.

The last time the Senate took up the ANWR drilling issue, two years ago, an attempt to include it in the budget was defeated. But in November, Republicans picked up three seats, all senators who favored drilling.

Opponents of drilling complained that Republicans this time were trying "an end run" by attaching the refuge provisions to the budget, a tactic that would allow the measure to pass with a majority vote.

The 19-million-acre refuge was set aside for protection by President Eisenhower in 1960, but in 1980 Congress said its coastal plain could be opened to oil development if Congress specifically authorizes it.

The House has repeatedly passed measures over the years to allow drilling in ANWR only to see the legislation stalled in the Senate. But last week, the House refused to include an ANWR provision in its budget document, although any differences between the Senate and House versions would likely be resolved in negotiations.

Drilling supporters argued that access to the refuge's oil was a matter of national security and that modern drilling technology would protect the region's wildlife.

Environmentalists contended that while new technologies have reduced the drilling footprint, a spider web of pipelines would disrupt wildlife.

In 1995, a drilling measure passed Congress but was vetoed by President Bill Clinton.

Three Democrats - Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye, both of Hawaii, and Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana - joined 48 Republicans in supporting the drilling. Maryland Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes voted to kill the measure.

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post #2 of 52 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 10:35 AM
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Senate passes bill to allow drilling in Wildlife Refuge



That blows. They should be able to tunnel underneath the preserve to extract the oil without disturbing the land... I'm sure that would cost too much though.

This is definetly a shame.

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post #3 of 52 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 10:48 AM
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Senate passes bill to allow drilling in Wildlife Refuge

wow csweeney
you must be bored!


yeah i heard about this on the radio this morning, as much as i want lower gas prices i dont think thats the right way to do it.


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post #4 of 52 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Senate passes bill to allow drilling in Wildlife Refuge

not bored. posting items of interest to me, and trying to spice up the lounge

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post #5 of 52 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 10:49 AM
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Senate passes bill to allow drilling in Wildlife Refuge

..and doing a fine job, I might add!

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post #6 of 52 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 10:57 AM
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Senate passes bill to allow drilling in Wildlife Refuge

edit


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post #7 of 52 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 10:59 AM
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Senate passes bill to allow drilling in Wildlife Refuge

Woohoo!

Drill baby drill!!! Cheap gasoline isn't a previlege, it's a right, just like health care, social security, and worker's comp.

Seriously, I think they can do it without much impact on the environment. But I think unless they make some huge discovery of reserves above and byond current estimates, oil from there will not do much to quench US' thirst for energy.

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post #8 of 52 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 11:01 AM
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Senate passes bill to allow drilling in Wildlife Refuge

Like CSweeney had said, I have too have nothing against drilling for oil. I just hope they don't distrupt the preserve to the point where the wildlife are no longer.... well.... being preserved!

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post #9 of 52 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Senate passes bill to allow drilling in Wildlife Refuge

Like I said, I'm not against drilling for oil, just against messing with a National Park. What will protect a national park if this type of stuff is allowed?
-edit- Metalcord, you beat me!!!

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post #10 of 52 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 11:05 AM
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Senate passes bill to allow drilling in Wildlife Refuge

Sorry!! At least I'm not busily "reading to far" into your posts! I hate it when I do that...

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