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[greenyes] ANWR Moving in Senate Budget


POLITICS AND POLICY


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CONGRESSIONAL ACTION



. Senate Spotlight Turns to Data Security1

. House Passes Highway Measure2

. EPA Sets Strict Limits on Plant Emissions3





Bush's Alaska Drilling Plan
Advances in Senate

By DAVID ROGERS
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
March 11, 2005; Page B2

A White House-backed plan to begin oil exploration in the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge advanced in the Senate as Republicans beat back Democratic
attempts to strip the proposal from the 2006 budget resolution.

The 12-10 Senate Budget Committee vote is a big boost for drilling
proponents and opens the door to using expedited budget debate rules to
avoid a repeat of the filibusters that have doomed ANWR bills in the past.

Exactly two years ago, a similar maneuver was tried, only to be upended on a
52-48 Senate vote to drop the budget language. This time, Republicans
believe they can make the deal stick, since their election gains in November
gave pro-drilling forces at least three more votes to begin exploration in
the massive Alaskan refuge.

"The old bulls around here feel very strongly on the issue," said Budget
Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, who included the ANWR language to help
advance his underlying budget blueprint. The New Hampshire Republican risks
alienating moderates from his New England home region, but the strategy
strengthens his hand with Western conservatives whose support he needs to
fend off tax-cut and agriculture-spending amendments when the resolution
comes up for debate, beginning Monday.

The Republican five-year fiscal plan, which cleared the committee last
evening on a party-line vote, seeks to slow the gro

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