Drill-happy senators go after the Arctic Refuge yet again

It seems like just three months ago that oil-thirsty congresscritters were pawing at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge like horny adolescents buzzed on wine coolers. Oh, wait, it was just three months ago. The effort to drill in the refuge “keeps coming back like a recurring nightmare,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). Tell us about it. Yesterday, the Senate once again passed a budget bill containing projected revenue from refuge drilling. The victory was a slim 51-49, resting on the defection of two key senators. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) was lured to the dark side by the inclusion of $10 billion for Gulf Coast restoration; Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) crossed over in pursuit of $3.3 billion in heating assistance for low-income families. Once again, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) led the opposition. Once again, the bill will face a bruising battle in the House, though the absence of draconian social-service cuts may make this one an easier pill to swallow than the last one for wavering representatives. We will keep you posted, but we’ll take no pleasure in it.