To Drill or Not to Drill. That Is Still the Question
Karl Rove, President Bush’s chief strategist, has told an oil industry lobbyist that Bush isn’t going to spend a lot of political capital to win congressional approval for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, reports Time magazine. Yesterday, on Earth Day, U.S. EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman said that the secretive White House energy task force headed by Vice President Dick Cheney will not recommend drilling in the refuge. Later in the day, however, the White House seemed to be distancing itself from Whitman’s comment — a spokesperson said nothing has been finalized and drilling in the refuge was still a goal. Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Gale Norton tried to explain how the administration’s plan to allow oil drilling off the Gulf Coast did not conflict with Bush’s statement during the presidential campaign that he opposed offshore drilling off the Florida coast.