Monday, December 19, 2005this passed, but the margin. 308-106?? What the hell happened? Lots of oil money?
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday approved opening Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil drilling.
The House approved the measure when it voted 308-106 in favor of a defense spending bill that contained the ANWR drilling language.
Giving oil companies access to the refuge's possible 10 billion barrels of crude oil is a key part of the Bush administration's national energy plan to increase U.S. petroleum supplies and cut America's oil imports.
Rep. Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican, noted that majorities in the House and Senate have voted in favor of ANWR drilling only to be "frustrated" by minority-party Democrats who used procedural tactics to block Senate passage.
The initiative is expected to be debated by the Senate this week, where it is likely to face stiff opposition from pro-environmental Democrats and possibly some moderate Republicans.
"The defense bill should be about delivering equipment and support to our troops. Instead, it is being used to deliver a multi-billion bonanza to oil companies," said Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.
The administration believes ANWR oil production could eventually reach 1 million barrels a day. However, drilling opponents want the refuge protected and say that raising vehicle fuel standards for new cars, mini-vans and sport utility vehicles could save the same amount of oil.