Wednesday, April 27, 2005


It’s unlikely to amount to much in the long run, but to the Republican stumbles of Social Security privatization, Terry Schiavo, John Bolton’s nomination to be United Nations ambassador and the “nuclear option” meltdown, you can add the retreat from changing U.S. House of Representatives ethics committee rules ... and even a change of heart on arctic drilling by Eskimos who were longtime supporters.

Reuters is saying that residents of Kaktovik, the only population center on the coast of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, are going against their own financial interests — they get part of the $46.7 million in oil-extraction money promised for offshore drilling — “because of potential threats to migrating whales and other sea life.”

Drilling in the refuge was approved in the House on Thursday, 249-183, as part of a wide-ranging energy bill. The Senate will vote on ANWR drilling in a budget bill; Republicans put it there because the budget bill can’t be delayed with a filibuster. The March 17 vote that put oil drilling into a budget bill was decided 51-49.

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