Stevens moves to hook Arctic Refuge drilling to military spending

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) is getting downright desperate; it seems he’ll go to any lengths to get oil drills into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. His latest plan has him attaching an Arctic-drilling provision to a popular military spending bill, hoping that lawmakers won’t risk the stigma of appearing to vote against the troops. Indeed, drilling opponents like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) are expressing uncertainty about what they would do under such a scenario. “I think it’s disgraceful I have to be put in that position,” he said. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the minority leader, calls the tactic an “egregious abuse of power on behalf of the oil and gas industry to violate the Senate’s rules and attach a special-interest provision to this bill.” Senate Democrats say they’ll challenge the Arctic-drilling measure as outside the scope of a Pentagon bill if it makes it to the floor, but they’re stopping short of threatening a filibuster.

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