Bush administration wants to drill here, there, and everywhere

This week, the Interior Department announced a five-year plan that would open 48 million acres of ocean to oil and gas leases off the shores of Alaska and Virginia and in the Gulf of Mexico. Alaska’s Bristol Bay is ready to be defiled, as President Bush yanked a drilling ban there by executive order in January, but the acreage off of Virginia would require lifting a long-standing drilling moratorium — unlikely in a Dem-controlled Congress. The new plan is no aberration: drilling in five Western states has doubled in the last decade, to the detriment of hunting grounds, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group and National Wildlife Federation. Sportsfolk and others are up in arms (hee hee) about the Bush administration’s energy policies, which prioritize resource extraction over just about everything else. Declared Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), “President Bush and Vice President Cheney are definitely addicted to oil, and it’s up to Congress to enter them into rehab.”