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[GreenYes] ANWR
Apologies for cross-postings.

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Despite intense pressure from the White House and a flurry of last-minute maneuvering by drilling proponents, the Senate on April 18 rebuffed an effort to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration. In two procedural votes, Democrats and several Republicans defeated a pro-drilling amendment to a broader energy bill -- delivering a huge victory to environmentalists, including BioGems Defenders who've sent more than 930,000 messages protesting plans to drill in the refuge, a rugged wilderness that teems with caribou, polar bears, Arctic wolves, and millions of migratory birds each summer. In addition to protecting wildlife habitat, the Senate's action is a direct rebuke to the Bush administration, which has championed Arctic drilling as a cornerstone of its national energy plan, even though the refuge's coastal plain would likely yield less than a six-month supply of oil. Still, the fight over the Arctic is far from over. Drilling advocates in the Senate have pledged to raise the issue again. And the House has already passed an energy bill that would allow drilling -- a key difference that will have to be hammered out when, and if, the Senate passes its own version of the bill. 

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B. Wayne Turner
City of Winston-Salem
Utilities Division
phone: (336) 727 8418
email: waynet@cityofws.org

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