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[GreenYes] Bush Administration Drilling Policy

Update: Norton making case for oil drilling
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration will weigh opening some currently off-limits areas of the Rockies to oil and gas drilling as part of a sweeping review of untapped energy resources, Interior Secretary Gale Norton said Monday. A 1999 study by the National Petroleum Council, an industry advisory group to the government, said about 10% of the country's total reserves of natural gas lay beneath the Rockies but that 40% of the deposits are off-limits to drilling. In 1997, the U.S. Forest Service banned drilling in areas of the Lewis and Clark National Forest that is part of the Overthrust Belt - a geological formation in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and northern Utah rich in oil and gas deposits. In an interview with The Associated Press, the former Colorado attorney general acknowledged the administration still needs to make the case for opening Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. With only four of the Senate's 50 Democrats on record supporting drilling and seven Republicans against, there's no indication it can win even 51 votes in the Senate, much less the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster threatened Monday by Sen. John Kerrey, D-Mass. Officials are now looking at tacking the Arctic drilling language to a budget bill that cannot be filibustered under Senate rules.
Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 231-1100/Fax (608) 233-0011

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