the gop’s oily anwr fetish

Undeterred by the fact that a vast majority of Americans do not approve of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Republicans are trying to sneak through legislation tomorrow that would clear the way for oil companies to do just that. Here’s a clip from a Grist newsletter that I just received:

Senate Budget Committee Chair Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) slipped ANWR into a budget resolution last week, which unlike standard legislation cannot be defeated by a filibuster. Overcoming a filibuster requires 60 votes, but the budget resolution requires only a 51-vote majority. Senate Energy Committee Chair Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) called this the “old-fashioned way,” but Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) countered that it is in fact a “backdoor way,” a perversion of the budget process. On the House side, Republicans left ANWR out of the budget but vowed to include it in energy legislation next month. And at the head of the pack was President Bush, who touted plans to open ANWR to drilling in a major speech last week. In a turn of phrase creative even by his standards, he said ANWR would produce “the same amount of new oil we could get from 41 states combined.” Many of those states, of course, have no known oil reserves.

John Kerry is suggesting that we focus on the Senators most critical to the vote: Coleman (MN), Smith (OR), Specter (PA), Martinez (FL), Lugar (IN), Gregg (NH) and Sununu (NH), but I think it’s probably worth all of our time time, regardless of what state you’re in, to contact the offices of your Senators. If you don’t know how to reach your Seantors, you can get their phone number from the Capitol switchboard, at 1-800-247-2971, or send an email via The Wilderness Society. (If you’re in Michigan, you can contact Senator Carl Levin at (202) 224-6221, and Senator Debbie Stabenow at (202) 224-4822.) And, as the Senate is expected to vote on Wednesday, March 16, it’s absolutely imperative that you contact them immediately if you want your opinion known. As for what to say when you get through, just tell them that you want for them to “vote for the Cantwell amendment to strip Arctic Refuge drilling from the Senate Budget Resolution.”

And here, in case I didn’t make the case clearly enough, is a link to a much more elloquent New York Times editorial.

Personally, I’m not pissed because the Republicans are using an underhanded move to circumvent the existing filibuster rules. I expect as much from them. What I’m pissed about is the fact ANWR drilling right now isn’t in the best long-term interest of our country. First of all, I’m of the opinion that if we really do have sizeable oil reserves in ANWR that we should hold on to them for as long as possible, until we absolutely need to tap them. (Drilling now would be like drinking all of your water within the first five minutes of stepping into the desert.) Second, I think that we should instead be looking for long-term solutions that will see our country move away from petroleum and toward renewable sources of energy, that would, among other things, lessen our dependence on the Middle East. The least of my concerns, as much as I love nature, is keeping ANWR pristine. For me, it’s more about setting a responsible course for the future, and this, in my opinion, isn’t the right way.

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12 Comments

  1. chris
    Posted March 16, 2005 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    A most excellent analogy Mark. I will call Hillary and Chuck. But here’s the thing, the Ah, the home of my crazy father. Alaskans seriously WANT this, they get kickbacks. They are adament about opening it up for drilling. I think the support of the local government is going to keep this thing rolling until it happens.

    I thought of an intervention where you bring Alaskans cities like NYC/Chicago/LA and show them before and after pictures. But they are really of the opinion that there is so much wilderness that drilling “just a little bit” won’t matter.

    OH yeah, WTF is going on with Daily Kos? Is it down?

  2. Tony Buttons
    Posted March 16, 2005 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Try the Kos backdoor, Chris:

    http://69.9.161.200/

    And, as long as I’m here, WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH BUSH NAMING WOLFOWITZ TO HEAD THE WORLD BANK! How much more fucked can things get?

  3. brett
    Posted March 16, 2005 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    How much more fucked can things get?

    Bono?

    …and i think i may copyright this one:

    “The Oily Bird gets the ANWoRm.”

    unless it’s been said before, which i suppose is likely.

  4. Henry the Octopus
    Posted March 16, 2005 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    All Did you know (I didn’t, until yesterday) that the small section of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge where some want to drill for oil was actually set aside for that specific purpose when ANWR was established!

  5. Ken
    Posted March 16, 2005 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Okay, Boortz, fire up the oil rigs! It says POSSIBLE oil exploration. That seems a far cry from a specific purpose.

    From this site:

    The ANWR Debate

    In 1960, President Eisenhower and Congress established the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), located in northeast Alaska near the Prudhoe Bay oil field. Twenty years later, President Jimmy Carter and Congress doubled the size of the ANWR to almost 20 million acres. Congress, however, set aside 1.5 million acres (“Area 1002”) along the coast of the Beaufort Sea for possible oil production. The government estimates that drilling in Area 1002 would probably recover from 4.3 to 11.8 billion barrels of oil. (This amounts to about a one- to three-year supply of oil at current American consumption rates.)

  6. chris
    Posted March 16, 2005 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    NO FUCKING WAY!!!!! Wolfowitz? This has got to be a prank, right…like Bono. And wait, since when does Bush get to appoint the WB head.

    Brett, you are hands down outrageous. I mean really, you should get paid for the shit you come up with.

  7. brett
    Posted March 16, 2005 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Chris, yes, i should.

    The truth is, Mark doesn’t even provide his contributors with even a basic dental plan.

    When you consider his popularity, combined with the low wages, and lack of comprehensive benefits, Mark Maynard is truly the “Sam Walton of Ypsilanti Bloggers”.

    (Stares down sadly at the blue vest mark makes me wear when posting comments)

  8. Ken
    Posted March 16, 2005 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    You got a blue vest?!? All he sent me was a tattered blog commentator leotard! It pinches down there, too!

  9. chris
    Posted March 16, 2005 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I got a pair of panties. Of course, I had to pay for them and they say “Ypsipanties” on them…and yes Ken, mine pinch down there too.

  10. mark
    Posted March 16, 2005 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    That’s the crabs pinching, Chris.

  11. brett
    Posted March 17, 2005 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    “When Love Grows Cold Do Not Despair,
    There’s Always Ypsilanti Underwear.”

    -circa 1910

  12. chris
    Posted March 17, 2005 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Oh yeah, forgot to tell you that the Ypsipanties he gave me were used.

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