October 19, 2005- Senate Action Opens Arctic Refuge for Drilling

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved a plan to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling as part of the larger budget reconciliation bill. Representative Edward J. Markey, a senior member of the House Resources Committee, the House panel with jurisdiction over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, decried the Senate panel’s decision to ram this controversial legislation into the budget process for the federal government.

“The budget process was designed so that important fiscal matters could be decided quickly to ensure the budgetary health of our federal government,” stated Rep. Markey, the House champion for protecting the Arctic Refuge. “Today’s decision by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to continue down this wrongheaded path by shoehorning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge into the budget process is deplorable. The budget reconciliation bill is a totally inappropriate forum in which to be
deciding the fate of our nation’s greatest natural treasure.”

“The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s decision to pry open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling using this backdoor budgetary chicanery represents a total circumvention of the legislative process,” continued Rep. Markey. “I strongly urge the House Resources Committee not to take similar inappropriate action when it considers its budget reconciliation language next week.”

“There is no reason to foolhardily rush around the normal legislative process to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for Drilling when the Bush Administration’s own estimates show that drilling in the Arctic Refuge would not yield even a drop of oil for about a decade, would not prevent our dependence on foreign oil from rising over the next 20 years, and might only reduce gasoline prices by maybe about a penny 20 years from now,” Markey concluded.

For more information on how Representative Markey’s work to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge check out: http://www.house.gov/markey/.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2005

 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness
 
Morgan Gray       
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