- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
- Robert Griffin III to drive pace car before Richmond NASCAR race
- Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt
- Bomb, shooting in Egypt kills 2 police officers
- Tenn. woman receives two-year sentence for stealing $364K meant for homeless veterans
- School bus driver gets probation after kicking autistic girl, 8
Arctic drilling recast as budget measure
The Senate’s energy chief last week revamped an old strategy to almost guarantee passage of legislation that would open up parts of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration.
Sen. Pete V. Domenici, as chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, plans to incorporate ANWR tax incentives and the $3.2 billion in projected revenues from oil development into this year’s unwritten budget resolution.
The New Mexico Republican said he will introduce the ANWR language as a budget reconciliation, which would not be subject to a filibuster and would pass with a simple majority.
The ANWR issue has held up passage of the energy package because of ardent opposition by Senate Democrats and some Republicans.
“There are some who oppose ANWR who feel that in order for it to happen it must have 60 votes” to avoid a filibuster, Mr. Domenici said. “This way, under the reconciliation ” and I have done this before ” the supporters and opposers have an equal chance.”
Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jim Bunning of Kentucky, Pat Roberts of Kansas and John Thune of South Dakota left to tour ANWR and oil-drilling sites in Alaska on Friday.
Mrs. Murkowski said new “diagonal drilling” technology that allows a single pumping station to extract oil from multiple wells at once should convince environmentalists that wildlife will not be disturbed if ANWR exploration and the subsequent drilling is allowed.
“I make the claim that what we do in Alaska in terms of oil and gas drilling is in balance with the environment and as nondisruptive as possible,” Mrs. Murkowski said. “We have figured out how to do it right.”
With oil prices soaring to $55 a barrel, Congress is focused on relieving the country’s dependence on foreign oil and natural gas.
Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton said Section 1002, the area of ANWR set aside by President Carter for oil exploration, could contain 5.7 million to 16 million barrels of oil or more. And she said it could hold even larger dividends of natural gas stores.
“[Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] could provide every drop of gas and other oil-based products for the state of New Mexico for 200 years,” she said.
Mr. Domenici agreed, saying the new technology should address environmentalists’ concerns.
“If I find that what we have been told isn’t right, then I could change my mind, but if it is, we can’t afford to wait any longer,” he said.
The reconciliation plan could lead to an inevitable passage of ANWR exploration.
Established in 1974, budget reconciliation was created to expedite the consideration of mandatory spending programs — such as Social Security and Medicare — tax laws or projected revenues.
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- IRS revokes conservative group's tax-exempt status over anti-Clinton statements: report
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Justice Dept.'s new clemency guidelines: Crack offenders most obvious candidates
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
- EDITORIAL: Voting with one's feet shows folly of liberal economic policies
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014