Republicans Push for Oil Drilling in the Arctic Refuge — Again

It’s the story that never dies: Republicans are once again plotting to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas drilling, this time by adding a provision to a major energy bill that is now being hammered out in a congressional conference committee. Most Democrats and a number of moderate Republicans in the Senate have consistently opposed oil exploration in the Arctic Refuge, but Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), who are heading up the energy negotiations, hope they can convince some of those drilling opponents to vote for the energy bill anyway if it contains a number of other provisions to their liking. Opponents aren’t ready to roll over yet. “If the energy bill contains drilling in ANWR, it’s in for a rough ride,” said Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.).