Conservation-minded lawmakers cheered a US House of Representatives decision to scrap a plan allowing oil drilling in Alaska's environmentally-sensitive Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).It's a bipartisan effort that surely would make Eisenhower proud. Yes, a Republican adminstration is responsible for establishing ANWR (then the Arctic National Wildlife Range) in 1960. It was subsequently expanded and "Range" changed to "Refuge" by the Carter administration in 1980. Now a conservative Republican administration brimming with free-market liberals wants to open up the refuge to big oil profiteers.
Negotiators wrangling over a House budget bill late Wednesday removed a provision allowing drilling in ANWR and on the Outer Continental Shelf, out of fear that its inclusion -- which faced strong opposition by some moderate representatives -- would endanger the entire budget bill.
Republican Representative Charles Bass (news, bio, voting record) gained the support of 25 lawmakers from his party and convinced the Republican leadership to give up on the provision.
It's enough to make the cranium seize.