What: All Issues : Environment : Global Warming : H.R. 6. Energy/Environment/Vote on Amendment to Strike from Energy Bill Language That Would Permit Oil and Gas Exploration in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.
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H.R. 6. Energy/Environment/Vote on Amendment to Strike from Energy Bill Language That Would Permit Oil and Gas Exploration in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.
house Roll Call 122     Apr 20, 2005
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

In this vote, the House defeated an amendment offered by Edward Markey (D-MA) to H.R. 6, The Energy Policy Act of 2005, to strike language in the bill which would permit oil and gas exploration in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Whether oil and gas companies should be permitted to drill in ANWR had long been a hot-button issue for environmentalists and energy concerns alike. Arguing the Progressive position, Markey noted the pristine quality of ANWR: "[t]he Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a national treasure, a place of ancient wilderness that remains much the same as it was at the end of the last Ice Age. It is one of the few places remaining in America where man has not scarred the land." He emphasized the precedent that would be set by allowing the protection afforded nature in ANWR to be violated, saying that such an action would be to "say good-bye to protection of all 544 [wildlife] refuges in this country." In addition, Progressives stated that "[d]rilling in ANWR will do little to reduce our current dependence on foreign oil because it will take more than 10 years, yes, more than 10 years to process what little oil may be there." (Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).) Republicans countered that a big focus of the energy bill was to reduce dependence on foreign oil, and that drilling in ANWR would provide an important step in that direction by opening a new source of domestic oil. They further argued that the impact of drilling on wildlife would be minimal, and at least one representative maintained the area in question was not "pristine wilderness" but "frozen tundra." (Jim Gibbons (R-NV).) The Progressives were defeated when this amendment failed by a vote of 200 to 231, with 29 Republicans and 30 Democrats crossing party lines to vote. Thus, the House paved the way to drill for oil and gas in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.

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