December 15, 2005- Will Senate Leaders Stall DOD Funding with a Doomed Drilling Provision??

Washington, D.C. – With the provision to drill in the Artic Refuge dragging down the budget reconciliation bill, the U.S. Senate leadership is proposing to attach the provision to permit drilling in the Arctic Refuge to a must-pass defense spending bill.  Representative Markey (D-MA), a senior Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce and Resources committees made the following statement about the backdoor budget deals to insert the drilling provision.

“Oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Refuge has now been proven to be an idea so bad that it could not pass the House in a budget vehicle where it never belonged, and it could not pass the Senate either standing alone or as a rider to other bills.  Now, the Senate Leadership is seeking to add this can’t- pass provision to a must- pass defense bill.

“It is apparent that some people need to be taught the same lesson not once, not twice, but over and over again. 

“The Republican leadership has AHAB Syndrome – they are chasing something so relentlessly that they are sure to bring on destruction.  In Moby Dick, Captain Ahab was obsessed with going after the Great White Whale even though there were plenty of other whales around that would have provided more oil at much less cost.  The oil companies have made it clear that they intend to drill elsewhere in places where the oil is more certain and less costly to produce, but the Republicans continue the futile chase.   ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhillips and BP have all pulled out of the lobbying group obsessed with drilling in the Refuge, preferring more certain, less costly prospects.

“But like Ahab, certain Republicans are so dedicated to a lost cause that they have lost their reason in the process.

“It makes no sense to attach drilling in a wildlife refuge to the Department of Defense Appropriations bill.  The result will simply slow down the approval of funding for the troops.  Let us hope that those who captain the Senate will turn this ship around before it founders on a filibuster.”

For Immediate Release
December 15, 2005

 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness
Morgan Gray
202.225.2836