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 difference.
ANWR is a jewel. This is a backhanded way to push the issue around a serious debate. Budget bills aren’t subject to the level of debate other bills are in the Senate.
Let’s guess which Republicans broke ranks. Collins, Snowe, Chafee, McCain, (Coleman!, DeWine and Smith were the ones I didn’t guess.)
Democrats Akaka, Inouye and Landrieu voted to despoil ANWR. I’m surprised that the Hawaiians broke ranks on this.
If the budget resolution doesn’t pass, then this will die with it. There’s still a chance.