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[GreenYes] Arctic National Wildlife Refuge-Polls
    According to the 3/8/01 Wall Street Journal ("Energy Shortages Return as Prime Policy Concern, But Public Is Conflicted About Solutions"), their most recent poll found that, notwithstanding recent attention to rising energy prices and the perception the article indicates has been encouraged by the Administration of an energy "crisis", of those polled: 57% opposed drilling in the Arctic, and 37% supported drilling (i.e. 60% of those with an opinion were opposed). Interestingly, in the West, where electricity shortages are felt to be imminent again this summer and where electricity price spikes are hurting, the opposition to drilling was more wide spread than in the country at large, 61% to 33% (or 65% of those with an opinion).

    For those who see this as a seminal event for our country's environmental consciousness, however, it may not be the end of the matter in Congress which has precious little to do with democratic principles.  Past history suggests that the fact that there is virtually no relationship between electricity shortages in California this summer and long term Arctic oil exploration authorized today does not in any way discourage this Administration from asserting that there is a direct link in order to elicit public support for drilling. 

    Also, congressional maneuvering does not move linearly to recognize the popular will.  The leadership has enormous control over what matters come to the floor and the form that they arrive there.  This means that drilling can be combined with other legislation urgently sought by those who otherwise would oppose drilling, etc. 


Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 231-1100/Fax (608) 233-0011

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