Friday, March 18, 2005
  Crown Jewels for Sell
As I mentioned in my last post, the U.S. Senate just voted to allow oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge. The margin of victory was close but decisive -- 51 to 49.

The Senate has essentially given George W. Bush the green light to plunder one of our few remaining wild places. The sad truth is, drilling in the Arctic will not solve our energy problem and it certainly won't do any thing to help the recent hike in prices at pump. Drilling there will only produce enough petroleum to fuel U.S. cars for six months at best, and the first drop of oil won't reach the market for ten years!

In addition, the sneaky way this was done sets a very bad precedent. By counting the rents received from the oil companies as income in the present budget, the Neocons were able to tack the bill on to the budget as an amendment. Ordinarily, it would have taken sixty votes to pass the drilling bill; by tacking onto the budget bill as income, it only required 51 votes to pass because that is all it takes to pass the budget.

Why is this a bad precedent? Well, suppose next time Bush has a buddy in the logging business who would like some redwood lumber. By counting the sell of the redwoods in Yosemite as part of the Budget, 51 votes and the redwood forests in Yosemite National Park would be history. Or, maybe we could just stripmine the Grand Canyon. There is copper there after all and we could probably get a few bucks for it. And what about the geothermal energy that is just going to waste every day in Yellowstone. Surely Old Faithful is worth a few dollars to some developer. See, once you start thinking about it, the possiblities are only limited by lack of greed and greed is something that Neocons seem to have in endless amounts.

If you find this as appalling as I do, there is still one thing that can be done; email your Congressman in the House of Representatives and ask them to remove the artic drilling amendment from the Budget Bill. This is our last chance. If they don't remove that amendment and kick it back to the senate, you can kiss the Artic Wilderness Eco system goodbye.

Click here to take action now.

Here's how our Senators voted. If your senator didn't vote the way you think they should, let them know about it.

(Cantwell Amdt. No. 168)
Vote Number: 52
Vote Date: March 16, 2005, 01:45 PM
Amendment Rejected
Amendment Number: S.Amdt. 168 to S.Con.Res. 18 (Appropriations resolution FY2006, Budget)
Statement of Purpose: To strike section 201(a)(4) relative to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Note: A "Nay" vote means approve Arctic drilling. A "Yea" vote means, stop Arctic drilling by stripping a section from the budget bill.

Akaka (D-HI), Nay
Alexander (R-TN), Nay
Allard (R-CO), Nay
Allen (R-VA), Nay
Baucus (D-MT), Yea
Bayh (D-IN), Yea
Bennett (R-UT), Nay
Biden (D-DE), Yea
Bingaman (D-NM), Yea
Bond (R-MO), Nay
Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Brownback (R-KS), Nay
Bunning (R-KY), Nay
Burns (R-MT), Nay
Burr (R-NC), Nay
Byrd (D-WV), Yea
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Chafee (R-RI), Yea
Chambliss (R-GA), Nay
Clinton (D-NY), Yea
Coburn (R-OK), Nay
Cochran (R-MS), Nay
Coleman (R-MN), Yea
Collins (R-ME), Yea
Conrad (D-ND), Yea
Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
Corzine (D-NJ), Yea
Craig (R-ID), Nay
Crapo (R-ID), Nay
Dayton (D-MN), Yea
DeMint (R-SC), Nay
DeWine (R-OH), Yea
Dodd (D-CT), Yea
Dole (R-NC), Nay
Domenici (R-NM), Nay
Dorgan (D-ND), Yea
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Ensign (R-NV), Nay
Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Feingold (D-WI), Yea
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Frist (R-TN), Nay
Graham (R-SC), Nay
Grassley (R-IA), Nay
Gregg (R-NH), Nay
Hagel (R-NE), Nay
Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Hatch (R-UT), Nay
Hutchison (R-TX), Nay
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Inouye (D-HI), Nay
Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Jeffords (I-VT), Yea
Johnson (D-SD), Yea
Kennedy (D-MA), Yea
Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Kyl (R-AZ), Nay
Landrieu (D-LA), Nay
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea
Leahy (D-VT), Yea
Levin (D-MI), Yea
Lieberman (D-CT), Yea
Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
Lott (R-MS), Nay
Lugar (R-IN), Nay
Martinez (R-FL), Nay
McCain (R-AZ), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Nay
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Murkowski (R-AK), Nay
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Obama (D-IL), Yea
Pryor (D-AR), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Salazar (D-CO), Yea
Santorum (R-PA), Nay
Sarbanes (D-MD), Yea
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Smith (R-OR), Yea
Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Specter (R-PA), Nay
Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Stevens (R-AK), Nay
Sununu (R-NH), Nay
Talent (R-MO), Nay
Thomas (R-WY), Nay
Thune (R-SD), Nay
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Voinovich (R-OH), Nay
Warner (R-VA), Nay
Wyden (D-OR), Yea
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Samizdat: an underground system for the circulation of forbidden works of literature and political criticism in the Soviet era of Russia.

Location: Arkansas, United States

Angry, angry, angry ... but still, any day above ground is a good day.