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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Shamelessly gaming the system, #237: ANWR drilling version

I guess I'm dense, because I don't see how adding a provision to allow drilling in ANWR is germane to the Defense Appropriations Bill. And then, when they try to slip it in to the conference report - when it was not part of the bill passed by either house of Congress prior to conference - just wtf do they think they're up to?

San Francisco Chronicle:
Face-off over Arctic drilling funds in defense spending bill: Opponents outraged over what they view as backdoor tactic

Zachary Coile, Chronicle Washington Bureau

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Washington -- Senate Republican leaders are setting up a final showdown next week over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by tying oil drilling in Alaska to a popular defense spending bill that would also pay for the war in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina relief.

The new strategy could boost the chances of approving oil development in the Alaskan refuge by forcing lawmakers who oppose drilling to make a tough vote against a $453 billion bill that would pay for U.S. military operations for the coming year and aid to hurricane victims in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

The drilling measure appeared all but dead for the year this month, but the new tactic has raised the possibility that Congress could decide one of the most contentious environmental issues in a generation before they leave for the holiday recess.


Um, not so fast. From the same article:

But Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said Democrats were still gathering the votes they needed Friday to defeat the measure on a procedural vote. If not, he pledged he would lead a filibuster.

"We're busy counting heads and talking to people right now," Kerry said. "A lot of people are very, very upset by this procedure. My hope is we don't have to get to (a filibuster)."

And from a Fairbanks Daily News-Miner article of Dec. 15, there's this:

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., has threatened in the past to filibuster any ANWR drilling legislation.

"It's really appalling that some Senators are willing to hold our troops and hurricane victims hostage to their desperate attempts to drill for oil in the Arctic refuge," said Kerry's spokeswoman, April Boyd.

Defending ANWR is nothing new for John Kerry. Don't expect him to back down.

Go get 'em John.

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