Six GOP senators are throwing a wrench in the Bush administration’s plan to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling. The six — Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, John McCain of Arizona, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois, and Mike DeWine of Ohio — announced last week that they will oppose plans to attach to a massive budget bill a provision that would open the refuge to oil and gas exploration. The senators seem to be on the same side of the issue as most Americans. A new poll by the Wilderness Society found that 62 percent of respondents opposed drilling in ANWR, while only 30 percent supported it. Even many Republicans and Bush backers want to see the refuge protected, say the pollsters.

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