Washington -- The Senate narrowly passed a budget resolution Thursday that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, setting up another showdown in Congress this year over the most fought-over piece of land in America.
Republican leaders approved the measure 51-49 after securing the vote of Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, by offering up to $10 billion in projected revenues from drilling in the Alaskan refuge and in offshore waters to rebuild the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast.
The House and Senate take turns approving and defeating measures to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. As recently as December 2005 the House approved drilling and the Senate defeated it. Now roles are reversed.
This much remains true: Environmentalists have to win every battle; developers only have to win once.
New York Senators Schumer and Clinton and Representative Boehlert, from my district, are staunch defenders of ANWR. But if you're from another district or state, or you know someone from another district or state (does that cover all of us?), visit the League of Conservation Voters Scorecard (or find the LCV icon on my sidebar and enter a zip code), find a legislator who needs to be educated and do your best.
For information about drilling in ANWR see the Almanac of Policy Issues. For the savvy reader who wants to see what the opposition's saying, look at ANWR.org where the recent Senate vote is reported as a "Victory." The site is owned by Arctic Power, "a grassroots, non-profit citizen's organization with 10,000 members founded in April of 1992 to expedite congressional and presidential approval of oil exploration and production within the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."
(Cross posted at Dryden Democrats)