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Tuesday, December 27, 2005 

GOP Holding Breath On ANWR (They Are Turning Blue)

Remember Jan Brady? Remember “Marsha Marsha Marsha”?

Now, fast-forward to today and Congress. House GOP has decided to act in the same fashion, only instead of “Marsha”, it’s “ANWR ANWR ANWR”

(Fox News) Republicans have battled Democrats to open ANWR to oil drilling for more than a decade, but now that drilling is closer than ever with the Senate approval of petroleum exploration last week, a tiny band of moderate House Republicans stands in the way.

Twenty-five House Republicans wrote to GOP leaders Tuesday threatening to withhold support for a $54 billion dollar deficit reduction bill unless a provision on drilling in ANWR was removed. GOP leaders said they remained committed to ANWR drilling, but didn't as yet have the votes to prevail.

Now, this is what I see: Congressional GOP is trying to pass a blatent political base pandering legislation inside of a “budget cutting bill”. While Pork style provisions are nothing new to Washington, calling this thing anything other than that is just trying to spin.

Unlike many of the people against ANWR, my opposition to this is not from an environmental standpoint. I am fully aware of the technological advancements that we’ve made, and am wholly confident that we could commence drilling there with little to no impact on the environment.

Instead, I am opposed to the immense effort, time, money, and political capital wasted (in my estimation) on a something that would only supply, at peak, 3%-6% of US oil consumption. To me, this is a “tempest in a teapot”, with Congressional Republicans trying to laud this as some kind of miraculous money saver and huge asset in the quest to reduce foreign oil dependence.

Here’s a thought: if we make our cars about 1% more efficient, we’ve just “saved” as much oil as we could pull out of ANWR. Here’s another thought: if we spent this much time and money on finding an alternative fuel source (and implementing it), we’d already be out of the woods on this subject.

ANWR is about opening up an income source for domestic oil companies, and increasing the tax base/income of the surrounding area. There is no doubt that it would create jobs and spur an economic boom in the local area (by local I mean Alaska). But I’m not going to buy the line that this is going to save the nation money, or reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Stop pandering to the lobbyist desires, and start addressing the peoples needs. Then we can start to make some progress.

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