Repugs Caught Trying to Add Coal Baron Give-away to Bill Opening ANWR to Drilling

Just when you thought the Bushie Repugs in the House couldn't get more disgusting, they prove you just aren't thinking "low" enough. It's bad enough that they were again trying to push through a bill to open ANWR to drilling - even though 75% of Americans oppose this. Bad enough that they want ANWR oil now to compensate for Bush's failure in Iraq (the oil flow there has become a trickle). But at the last minute, it was revealed that they had also inserted an amendment into the bill that would have used federal revenues from ANWR to pay health compensation for coalminers - thereby letting the coal barons off the hook for footing the bill for taking care of their own workers. The same coal barons on whom Bush's energy bill would lavish billions at the cost of clean air. This comes as no surprise. Rumor has it Irl Englehardt of Peabody Coal was one of the names on Cheney's secret list.

White House Won't Back Down on Arctic Oil Drilling

Reuters reports: "The Bush administration told Congress Wednesday it was sticking with its plan for a broad energy bill to open an Arctic refuge in Alaska to oil drilling, even though the White House has been warned the proposal could kill the legislation. Senate and House negotiators are trying to hammer out legislation by the end of this month that would be the first major overhaul in U.S. energy policy in a decade. House lawmakers want to give oil companies access to the potential 10 billion [???] barrels of crude under the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), while the Senate voted earlier this year to keep the refuge closed to energy exploration." It has been estimated that there is only a 20% likelihood of finding oil in ANWR. And then it will only fulfill six months of the US demand.

Senate Democrats Heroically Stop Arctic Drilling

CNN reports, "Despite intense lobbying by pro-drilling senators and the White House, Democrats mustered the support needed to remove a drilling provision from a budget resolution expected to be approved later this week. An amendment offered by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, to strip away the provision passed 52-48... All but five Democrats voted against refuge drilling. There were eight Republicans who joined the Democrats in favor of barring oil companies from the refuge. With one or two senators holding the balance, both sides stepped up their lobbying to try to sway anyone thinking of shifting. Freshman Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minnesota, under intense pressure, signaled he might vote in favor of drilling. But in the end, Coleman, who succeed the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, an ardent opponent of drilling, sided with the Democrats... Boxer argued that the United States could save more oil than the refuge would produce 'by just getting the SUVs to have the same fuel economy as autos.'"

Bush & Co. Uses Threat of Iraq W-ar to Target ANWR

CommonDreams.org reports: "A senior House Democrat on Monday warned the Bush administration and the U.S. oil industry against using the threat of war in Iraq as justification for opening an Alaskan wilderness area to oil and gas drilling. Later this week, House-Senate negotiators on a major energy bill are expected to debate whether to open the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas development... Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, the senior Democrat on the House Energy panel, accused the White House of trying to win ANWR drilling rights for oil firms by linking the issue to potential oil disruptions if the United States attacks Iraq. "We are not going to allow a declaration of war against (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein to be used as a cover for the Bush administration's environmental offices to declare war against the environment," Markey said at an environmental rally on Capitol Hill."

The GHP (Grand Hypocrisy Party) Strikes Again: Oil Drilling is Not Environmentally Safe in Florida, But It is in Alaska!

King George said, "Florida is known worldwide for its beautiful coastal waters and the Everglades. Today we are acting to preserve both." Of course we agree with this, but why doesn't this apply to Alaska? OK, 2 reasons. (1) Jeb needs every vote he can get (steal/buy/bribe or extort) and Florida drilling would be a major problem for him, and the $235 million dollar gift to him - without Congress' approval - will surely help. (2) Gail Norton surely summed this one up: "Ice roads are not particularly successful in Florida." Gail, we have a secret for you. If you put waste/gas/oil on ice, when the ice melts... the damage is still done.

ANWR Sponsors Try a New Sweetheart Deal

After failing last week to make a sweetheart deal with steel-producing state senators to back ANWR drilling in exchange for using the profits for retired steel company workers benefits, the bill's sponsors turned their attention to Israel. The last-ditch effort by Senator Frank Murkowski (R-AL) exempted Israel from a ban on exporting any oil from ANWR and promised US assistance to Israel in the event of oil disruption would be extended 10 years. Happily, this attempt to bribe pro-Israel Senators was a miserable failure.

So It's Just Going To Be 2000 Acres, eh?

Writes Heather Wade: "I spoke with this gentleman not to long ago. He was what some might call a typical Texan. He was a really nice fella; we talked about the proposed drilling in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge. When he got to that subject, I want to explain my displeasure of running a risk of ruining the refuge. I was quick to assume he was all for drilling. Considering he was an oil and cattleman from Central Texas." Although the Democratic Senate has stopped ANWR drilling for now, expect Bush and the GOP to push for it again. Here is another reason not to buy their propaganda.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey Comes Out Publicly Against ANWR Oil Exploration!

Apparently even some hawkish CIA types are admitting that drilling Alaskan oil reserves would be akin to putting a band aid on a severed limb! James Woolsey, former CIA director, has come out publicly to oppose oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. At a press conference Monday, Woolsey stated,"The bottom line is that we'll be dependent on the Middle East as long as we are dependent on oil. Drilling in ANWR is not a recipe for America's national security. The only answer is to use substantially less petroleum." Woolsley went on to suggest that increased reliance on Alaskan oil could actually increase America's energy vulnerability. "The Trans-Alaska Pipeline was shut down last fall by a drunk who shot one bullet, it has been sabotaged and incompetently bombed twice, and these people are children compared with the sophistication of people who attacked us Sept. 11."

Alaska Senator Tries to Buy ANWR Drilling by Bribing Steel State Senators

"Senate proponents of drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge were dealt a blow Monday as their last-ditch attempts to gather enough votes for passage through a deal aimed at luring steel state senators fell apart. 'It's quite dead,' said Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), of the proposed deal, making it almost certain that drilling for oil in the refuge would not pass the Senate." Hooray!!! But if Alaska's Senators are serious about a deal, we're willing to offer one. How about trading ANWR for a Manhattan Project-type program to convert America's entire auto fleet to hybrid and fuel-cell cars by the end of the decade? Since this is the ONLY way to stop global warming and save the planet, we're willing to talk.

Gale Norton Breaks the Law to Promote ANWR Drilling

During the Clinton administration, Congressional Republicans viciously attacked Clinton over anything resembling "public lobbying" by administration officials - even giving speeches or going on talk shows. But now Interior Secretary Gale Norton has been caught using OUR MONEY to promote industry propaganda on ANWR. Fortunately, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) is not going to let Norton get away with it. Markey told the NY Times that the Interior Department was becoming "a cinema house for lobbyists. The Interior Department should not be spreading oil company propaganda any more than the Department of Energy should be promoting Enron stock. It's not their job." Norton is KNOWINGLY and INTENTIONALLY breaking the law - and she should be prosecuted!

Bu$h Uses Middle East Turmoil as Excuse to Drill in ANWR

It appears that Bu$h will use just about any excuse to slap up a coupla' oil wells in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Now the administration is trying to use Iraq's removal of oil reserves from the world market as a reason, despite the fact that the Saudis have promised to pump up their production to compensate for Iraq's action. Spencer Abraham is even resorting to lies to justify plundering the pristine Alaskan caribou home: "ANWR production could replace more than 35 years of Iraqi oil imports." Says WHO?? Hey Shrub, when will you learn how to spell the word CONSERVATION?

Why Do Alaskans Want to Drill in ANWR? Follow the Money

"Who wants to drill for oil in the far north of Alaska? Alaskans do. And do they ever. More than the oil companies themselves, more than labor unions, more even than George W. Bush, Alaskans are desperate to get some fresh crude flowing out of the wilderness here. That's because there is a threat on the horizon. Doom is settling in like ice fog. The bears are restless in their dens. Without new oil, goodness, Alaskans might be asked to pay taxes." So writes John Balzar in the LA Times.

Debate Continues in Senate Over ANWR Drilling; Bush and the GOP Continue Exploiting National Crisis for Political Gain

"The battle over the Bush administration's controversial plans to allow drilling for oil in the Arctic national wildlife refuge...returned to the floor of the Democrat-controlled Senate with the Democrats arguing that a final vote should be delayed until next year. But the administration is pushing hard for drilling approval, claiming that the war makes it imperative. " What on earth does drilling in ANWR have to do with the military campaign? As Tom Daschle stated, "This doesn't make sense for us to wait 10 years for six months of supply, which is what [the refuge area] represents, and destroy one of the most pristine parts of our environment in the process." Moreover, the US Geological Survey estimates only a 20% chance of there being any oil in ANWR. Earlier this week, Alaskan Sen. Frank Murkowski's amendment (to a current bill) to drill in ANWR was voted down 94-1.

In Prudhoe Bay, Next Door to ANWR, Oil Drilling is Plagued with Problems

"As the Senate debates the patriotic merits of drilling for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a new report by BP PLC documents widespread operational problems at its giant oil field in neighboring Prudhoe Bay. IN ITS SEVEN-WEEK review over the summer, a BP team of employees and consultants found deficiencies ranging from lack of maintenance on safety equipment to reports of chronic valve leaks. The findings underscore concerns of critics of President Bush’s proposal to drill in the refuge that practices by the oil industry practices are too slipshod for it to be trusted to go into such a pristine wilderness area." So reports Jim Carlton of the Wall Street Journal.

Robert Redford on Bush and the GOP's Cynical Exploitation of 9/11 to Drill in ANWR and Push Their Pro-Oil Plan

"With no energy crisis to scare us with, the administration and pro-oil senators are now promoting their 'Drill the Arctic' plan under the guise of national security and energy independence. Don't buy it. It would take ten years to bring Arctic oil to market, and when it arrives it would never equal more than two percent -- a mere drop in the bucket -- of all the oil we consume each year...If our nation wants to declare energy independence, then we have no choice but to reduce our appetite for oil. There's no other way. We need to rely on smarter and cleaner ways to power our economy. We have the technology right now to increase fuel economy standards to 40 miles per gallon. If we phased in that standard by 2012 we'd save 15 times more oil than the Arctic Refuge is likely to produce over 50 years. We could also give tax rebates for existing hybrid gas-electric vehicles that get as much as 60 mpg." So writes Robert Redford for the National Resources Defense Council.

Interior Secretary Gale Norton Twists Facts on ANWR in Answering Senate

"When a Senate committee asked Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton questions about caribou in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, she sought answers from the agency in her department that runs the refuge. But when Norton formally replied to the committee, she left out the agency's scientific data that suggested caribou could be affected by oil drilling, while including data that supported her case for exploration in the refuge, documents show. Norton also added data that were erroneous, stating that caribou calving has been concentrated outside the proposed drilling area in 11 of the last 18 years, when the opposite is true... Still, some Fish and Wildlife officials said that they were careful to send Norton a complete and balanced portrait of the science, regardless of personal biases, and that she cherry-picked the data that suited her." Norton is a member of the Federalist Society, which is determined to turn the US into a Corporate State.

Bullet Holes Spill Alaskan Oil

"A drunken man shot a hole in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline last Thursday, causing one of the worst oil spills in the pipeline's history. Although the hole has now been patched, and oil once again flows through Alaska's primary oil artery, workers are still laboring to clean up an estimated 6,800 barrels of crude oil from the Arctic landscape... Daniel Carson Lewis, a 37 year old man from a town near the pipeline, was arrested for shooting the pipeline with a .338 caliber rifle. He has been charged with felony assault, criminal mischief, weapons misconduct, and driving while intoxicated, and is being held on $1.5 million bail... Alyeska officials said it will take weeks to pump oil from the pits. Mopping up the oil from the ground and vegetation will take months, and cleanup could last through next summer. Although it is too early to assess the environmental impact, no injuries to wildlife have been reported."

Median Household Income of 'Economically Disadvantaged' Northern Alaska Natives Exceeds $47,000

Are the Native Americans in north coastal Alaska being taught corporate tricks - such as how to sell the public a bill of goods? We have heard much in recent months of how disadvantaged native American groups are in northern Alaska, and how they deserve economic advantages just like everyone else. Well, check out this data on the Point Hope Inupiat natives (the Inupiats are pushing hard for drilling - as long as its not on their territory) supplied by the Alaskan Community Database. The "poor natives" theory will disappear once you see the median income: over $47,000 per year. In addition, this group is working hand in glove with the corporations and the Bush administration to construct a "Potemkin village" (a phony stage setting, in this case, a "native corporation," created for the benefit of the public and potential dupes. See next story). For more on the Inupiats versus less greedy native groups, see http://www.protect-the-arctic.com/native-arctic-people.html.

ANWR, Called the 'Desert' of the Arctic Is, Like Any Desert, Unbelievably Complex and Rich in Biodiversity - Get the FACTS

The woefully uninformed folk who have decried ANWR as a "desert" are actually, in their laughable ignorance, giving the refuge one of its best plugs ever. Deserts contain the greatest diversity of species in specialized form and function, on the face of the Earth. The typical desert is an unbelievably complex, vital living ecosystem. Yes, in a way, ANWR IS like a desert - an unbelievably diverse, complex and vital living ecosystem. But it doesn't come equipped with pink flamingoes and swaying palm trees - the sort of "nature" oil company and teamster union lobbyists can identify with on account of their Carribean vacations at the taxpayer or union members' expense. For those of you interested in real nature, and not the type seen from the balcony of the Jamaican Hyatt-Regency, here's a detailed guide to ANWR, including an oil drilling impact statement.

Congressional Leaders Prove They Are Scientifically Ignorant and Unfit to Make Decision on ANWR

Every real scientist, especially biologists and ecologists, has been cringing in disgust at the parade of ignorance in Congress associated with the ANWR issue. "I've been up there - the place is a desert!" is a line that nauseates the informed. This is the sort of mentality that laughed at Columbus or wanted to burn Copernicus for suggesting the Earth revolved around the sun. IGNORANCE!!! To have people so woefully unknowledgable (to put it kindly) deciding something so important is as outrageous as calling the local dogcatcher in to perform brain surgery. For those senators and congresspeople who are wise enough to know they are uninformed, here is a quick study on the facts about that "desert" up there in the Arctic region that so many of the ignorant see as one big oil tank and nothing else.

Yet another Oil Spill on Alaska's North Slope On Eve of Congressional ANWR Vote

If Congress can't see the writing on the wall, then they're blinder than Belshazzar (of biblical "What's all that stuff on the wall?" fame). In recent weeks there has been not one, but SEVERAL oil spills on Alaska's North Slope - an area where new clean-drilling technology, so highly touted by the industry, is available. The latest spill happened just last week when a pipeline in Prudhoe Bay leaked hundreds of gallons of oil onto the tundra. But Philips Petroleum, BP and Exxon are on the sidelines, rubbing their greedy hands together in eager anticipation (how DARE Exxon even set foot in Alaska!?). So this will be a telling vote. Will Congress only see their names on oil company donation checks - or will they be able to read the great big warning "letters" splashed across the North Slope in crude?

Gale Norton Seeks to Put Two Pro-ANWR Drilling Oil Lobbyists on Government Payroll

Gale "I Love Oil More than Life Itself" Norton is becoming more crassly anti-environmental all the time. In fact, the only wildlife she seems interested in protecting are corporate "fat cats." Now she has named Camden Toohey, director of a pro-oil development group as her "special adviser" on oil drilling in ANWR. That's like asking Papa John if he thinks pizza would be a good choice for dinner. Just this week, Toohey was bragging to the Anchorage Daily News that his group is lobbying hard for drilling in the refuge, adding "I feel good about our chances." Norton has also named another oil lobbyist, Alaskan State Senator Drue Pearce as another "special assistant" on Alaska issues. Defenders of Wildlife Pres. Robert Dewey said, "It's sad enough that the state of Alaska is using tax money to fund lobbying for oil rigs in the Arctic refuge. Now Sec. Norton has put the oil lobbyists on the public payroll and all Americans will pay their salaries."

The Crisis in ANWR: A Powerful Portrait of a Proud and Ancient People's Fight to Protect their Land, Heritage and Self-Sufficiency

"Divide and conquer, that's what they try to do to the tribes. Get them fighting with each other," says Faith Gemmill, community leader of Alasksa's Gwich'in people. "But this is not an Indian versus Eskimo issue. This is about our right to self-determination and to continue to live in our culture." In recent weeks, Gemmill and her people have been confronted by the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. Though formed in 1984, the commission has shown no interest in ANWR, never met with the natives - until NOW, when the chances of raiding the refuge for oil has, thanks to Bush, become a possibility. Pro-oil forces have sought to set the maritime Inupiats, who are indifferent to the coastal land where drilling will occur, against the Gwich'in. It is a ploy that has been used by big oil in many zones with bloody, devastating success, including Indonesia and Africa. If you don't read any other article about ANWR, read this one!