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December 22, 2005

ANWR Drilling Proposal Killed by Threatened Filibuster

Arctic Drilling Rejected: Cheers Heard on Both Sides of Border, Tom Harper, Toronto Star, 12/22/05

WASHINGTON—Environmentalists on both sides of the border are hailing a dramatic vote that turned back the latest bid by George W. Bush and Republican senators to open a pristine Arctic refuge to oil drilling.

Yesterday's pre-Christmas showdown in the U.S. Senate marked a victory by Democrats who have over more than two decades repeatedly killed access to the oil reserves in Alaska, consistently the most emotionally charged environmental battle in this country. …

Prime Minister Paul Martin had told Bush there was not enough oil in the reserve to justify the potential environmental and cultural damage to the region.

Ottawa also argued the president would have been breaching an 18-year-old bilateral agreement in which the two governments pledged to protect the environmentally fragile area of the continent. The section of the refuge that is in Canada is a national park. …

"Although we won (yesterday), we shouldn't have even been put into the position of yet another cliff-hanger," said Monte Hummel, president emeritus of the [World Wildlife Fund]. "Conservationists have had to fend off drilling in the refuge many times over the last 25 years, despite the fact that the majority of both Canadians and Americans do not want this to happen. Now we need to move beyond these defensive actions, to provide permanent protection to a North American natural treasure."

Deb Callahan, president of the League of Conservation Voters, said the vote was a triumph of "democracy over greed."

"Cynical attempts to hold hostage funds to support our troops, offer relief to hurricane-ravaged states and warm the cold, old and poor in order to benefit a select few failed before our eyes," she said in a statement.

Posted by Dave on December 22, 2005 at 12:10 PM | Permalink


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