ANWR Update

Incase you missed it, Democrats and two Republicans, Mike DeWine and Lincoln Chafee, stood their ground, and managed to keep ANWR off the defense bill. Pete Dominenici of New Mexico (?) has already vowed to add it to a filibuster proof budget bill in the spring, one I’m sure that will be full of all kinds of pork barrel projects. So warm up that keyboard and start writing your represenatives, and voice your opinion, be it on ANWR, or the President spying on fellow Americans.

Even Some GOP’s Get It

ANWR Issue Roils Senate Again

Arctic drilling on a defense bill. If you’ve read here lately, you know my stance on that. And now even some Republicans are calling Stevens and Frist out on playing politics with our national defense. And poor ol’ Dick might have to cut his trip short to cast a vote. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, or he gets held up by a sandstorm.

The “Response”

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). I appreciate hearing from you and would like to respond to your concerns.

Finding new sources of domestic energy is critical to our national security. Today, our nation is 58 percent dependent on sources of energy from the Western Hemisphere, including 14 percent from Venezuela. Judging by recent political developments, Venezuela is not a stable or reliable source of oil for our country.

Hugo Chavez has actively been seeking new markets, such as China, for Venezuela?s oil, which would leave us struggling to replace a sizable percentage of our country?s needs with most likely very little warning. With today?s soaring oil and gasoline prices, we need to be forward thinking about world events and their effect on our oil supply.

We also need to think globally about environmental issues. Drilling in ANWR using the most advanced technology and strictest environmental regulations will keep environmental impact to a minimum. Drilling technologies such as multi-lateral drills and directional drilling are just two examples of ways we are now able to minimize environmental impact. Other countries are not necessarily following the same strict environmental standards used in the U.S., and this puts us in the position of exporting our own environmental concerns to countries with much looser environmental standards.

Drilling in ANWR – in a part of Alaska that was set aside by the Eisenhower administration in 1960 for oil and gas exploration, with overwhelming support from its population and congressional delegation, and under some of the strictest environmental standards in the world ? is a sound and balanced approach that will help alleviate our dependence on foreign sources of oil.

ANWR is a huge area encompassing over 19 million acres. The environmental footprint of oil and gas operations will be limited to 2,000 acres, which is roughly the size of Dulles International Airport in Virginia. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, ANWR is estimated to contain resources ranging from 7.7 billion to 10.9 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

As we address the need for development of domestic sources of energy, Florida?s moratorium on offshore drilling will remain firmly in place as one of my highest priorities.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. If you have any additional questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.

And my follow up:

I appreciate your quick response, and though your explanation seems reasonable, you have not explained how your arguments to support drilling in ANWR can not be then used against you to drill off the coast of Florida. I know the military is expressing the need for the Eastern Gulf for maneuvers, however outside that reason what are your defenses for not supporting exploration and drilling off our coasts? I must also express my doubts in the “strict” regulations you defend your choice with. From my perspective, this administration has loosened regulations from the day it took office, and I have severe doubts that this would be any different. And finally, could you explain how 8-11 billion gallons of oil justifies the potential risks and damage. At what expense is a years worth of oil? And when do we draw the line? How will you argue that 4 months worth of natural gas isn’t worth rigs off our beaches?
And finally Senator Martinez, how do you justify playing politics with a budget bill aimed for the military and potentially the lives of our countrymen and women?

Can’t Wait to See How Mel Answers that Letter

So I wrote my Senators late last week voicing my concerns over the fact that the slime ball Republicans were tagging things like ANWR drilling on a defense dept budget. We’ve got fellow Americans with their lives on the line over seas, and their safety depends on the allocation of funds to the military. And so what are scum bags like Ted Stevens doing? Playing politics with those fellow countryman’s lives. Yep. Betting their constituents lives that Democrats won’t vote against a DoD bill. I’m sure Senator Nelson will be at the forefront of maneuvers to separate the two, but I’m not so sure Martinez will be. I told him in my email that not only did I think it was disgusting to play politics with soldiers lives, I also said that supporting drilling in ANWR would be to support drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. His site says all correspondence will receive a written response, so I can’t wait to hear how he justifies this one. Perhaps you may want to contact your representatives and see how they can justify their actions as well.