Friday, November 11, 2005

House Republicans Cave in on ANWR Drilling

On Wednesday, Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives "abandoned an attempt to push through a hotly contested plan to open an Alaskan wildlife refuge to oil drilling, fearing it would jeopardize approval of a sweeping budget bill Thursday".

The decision to drop the ANWR drilling language came after GOP moderates said they would oppose the budget if it was kept in the bill.

The "GOP moderates" referred to belong to the Republican Main Street Partnership, which is funded by George Soros and friends. Soros is best known in political circles for funding ultra-liberal causes, such as MoveOn.org.

The Senate version of the bill provides for drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The ANWR drilling issue and other differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill will be ironed out in a conference committee. The House leadership's surrender makes it less likely that the final bill will provide for ANWR drilling. Given the obvious need for domestic production of oil, drilling in ANWR is a strong plus to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and to improve national security.

Keep in mind that politics works in strange ways sometimes. The Senate-House conference will be key. If the conference committee, whose members will be appointed by the leaders of each chamber, put ANWR drilling in the final bill, GOP moderates may have little choice but to vote for the whole package in order to take credit for taking steps to control spending. Cross your fingers.

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