Friday, August 15, 2003

ANWR - Energy Bill - Power outages (problem - reaction - solution)

Hmmm ... would a public outcry for quick passage of an ENERGY bill because of the power outage crisis and media manipulation help or hurt the ANWR drilling nondebate?

August 4, 2003, "President Bush last week urged Senate and House lawmakers to quickly resolve differences in separate energy bills when they return from their summer recess in September and finalize an energy package he can sign into law. 'It's time for them to reconcile their differences when they get back from their August breaks and get a bill to my desk,' Bush told reporters following a meeting with his Cabinet."

August 6, 2003 "In September, Congress will return to session and will begin to conference the energy bill. The House energy bill contains the opening of drilling in ANWR, while the Senate energy bill does not. Murkowski extended all of the resources of her office to Knowles in a letter and at a press conference today in Anchorage, "We need at least 12 Democratic votes to break their anti-Alaska filibuster on ANWR."

July 25, 2003 "The Senate resumed work on the energy bill Thursday night, but the debate over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge isn't the center of attention it once was. No one even mentioned the ANWR controversy when two Bush cabinet members met with Sen. Lisa Murkowski and a host of her fellow Republican senators at the Capitol on Thursday morning to rally support for passage of the energy bill, Murkowski's spokeswoman said ... That's because Senate Energy Committee Chairman Pete Domenici, R-N.M., acknowledging that drilling opponents have the votes on their side, said months ago that he wasn't going to put refuge drilling in the energy bill. Sen. Murkowski, R-Alaska, concurred with his strategy and said she wouldn't raise it either. But even if the Senate bill says nothing about drilling in the refuge, there's still a chance for ANWR. Because the House passed an energy bill that includes it, House and Senate negotiators could decide to let the provision stay in the final version of the bill."


Under the radar and overshadowed by "Countdown to Iraq" ... "U.S. Senate Republicans and Vice President Dick Cheney stepped up efforts to gather the crucial votes to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, congressional and environmental sources said on Tuesday", Forbes, March 11 (Reuters).

According to the "History of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge", In 1987, Reagan's administration released "1002 Report" recommending full leasing of the coastal plain but in 1989 because of the Exxon Valdez spill, public opposition scuttled legislation that would allow for drilling in the Arctic Refuge.

In 1991, during the aftermath of Persian Gulf War I, Bush I proposed a National Energy Policy that called for full-scale leasing of the coastal plain but was defeated by filibuster and intense opposition.

In 1995, a "rider" to the federal budget reconciliation bill mandated Arctic Refuge oil development causing Clinton to veto the entire bill, which resulted in the fateful shutdown of the government. ("Fateful", because White House interns filled in for furloughed staff and Monica delivered pizza to the president.)

"Sen. Rick Santorum, the Republican Senate Conference chairman, said that passing legislation to overhaul U.S. energy policy was one of the Republicans' top five priorities in the new Congress. He said the energy legislation would "absolutely" include a provision to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling - a move that Democrats were able to head off in the last Senate session.".

"In January 2003, Senate Democrats said that blocking an attempt to drill for oil in an Alaska wildlife refuge will be tough if the Republican majority includes the plan in federal budget legislation",


Due to 9-11, the Bush administration has been rather successful, thus far, in completing their tasks. They were able to accomplish passage of the Homeland Security Act, the "Patriot Act", fast-track trade negotiating authority, China's admission to the WTO, and payment of delinquent UN dues, etc. -- interestingly, all the things that Clinton couldn't do. Wonder how this will play out?

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