[Marxism] Senate Votes to Open Alaskan Oil Drilling

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at resist.ca
Wed Mar 16 17:26:30 MST 2005

my rant: then please forward...

This is an unmitigated disaster. There is no possible excuse for this;
whatever must be done to reverse this must be considered. This is not
something that can be undone-- destroy the ANWR and destroy the caribou--
the only herd animals left that have a migration annually that rivals the
legendary Buffalo herds slaughtered centuries ago by colonizers. And
destroy the caribou and you destroy the Gwitch'in.

If oil can destroy this part of the planet, doomsday is even more close
than you think. Sorry, no happy ending here. This is simply a catastrophy.

If you believe as I do that oil is one of the greatest enemies of the
planet, that it causes the wars in Iraq and attempts to destroy anything
in the path of profit, then fight them here. We must win this for its own
sake, let alone for the rights of the Gwitch'in to, well, exist.

the film short oilonice.org can give you a minor glimpse, but if you want
to know what the earth is and how you really are a part of it, this is it.
It's all we have left, and this must become a top priority.

Ring every bleeding alarm bell! Don't shut up and don't back down. Stop them.


 Senate Votes to Open Alaskan Oil 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.

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 House has not included a similar provision in its budget, so the
issue is still subject to negotiations later this year to resolve the

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.

Drilling supporters acknowledged after the vote that for refuge
development to get final approval Congress must still pass a final budget
with the Senate provision included, something Congress was unable to do
last year.

Still, "this is a big step," said Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who said he
had tried for 24 years to open the refuge, but failed because Democrats
blocked the effort through filibusters. The budget is immune from a
filibuster, meaning 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 later this year.

Environmentalists have fought such development and argued that despite
improved 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

It's "a way to get some additional reserves here at home on the books,"
Bush said Wednesday.

The Alaska refuge could supply as much as 1 million barrels day at peak
production, drilling supporters said. But they acknowledge that even if
ANWR's oil is tapped, it would have no impact 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
Norton said.

"We won't see this oil for 10 years. It will have minimal impact," argued
Sen. Maria Cantwell, 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

Sen. John Kerry, 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.

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 in the refuge.

The vote Wednesday contrasted with the last time the Senate took up the
ANWR drilling issue two years ago. Then, an attempt to include it in the
budget was defeated. But drilling supporters gained strength last November
when Republicans picked up three additional seats, all senators who
favored drilling in the refuge.

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 Congress in 1980 said its 1.5 million acre 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, ANWR's coastal plain still would contain a spider web
of pipelines that would disrupt calving caribou and disturb polar bears,
musk oxen and the annual influx of millions of migratory birds.

Copyright © 2005 Associated Press
Macdonald Stainsby
In the contradiction lies the hope.

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