In order to be objective, here's both a Democratic and Republican response to my letters regarding removal of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge oil drilling proposal from the federal budget resolution. Below are Democratic Senator Stabenow's and Republican Congressman Ehler's comments, both of whom are opposed to drilling in the refuge.
November 2, 2005
Mr. Jerome Alicki
Thank you . . .
. . . for contacting me regarding your opposition to drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). I share your concerns about this issue.
The Senate Budget Resolution includes a provision - based on the President's budget proposal - to make it easier to open the Arctic Refuge to oil and gas drilling. The Arctic Refuge drilling provision would prevent a full and fair debate on energy and environmental policy like we have had in past Congresses. This provision would prevent the Senate from filibustering legislation to open the Arctic Refuge to drilling. It would also limit the ability of the Senate to offer amendments or make any modifications to such a bill.
On March 16, 2005, Senator Maria Cantwell offered an amendment to remove the Arctic Refuge drilling provision from the Senate Budget Resolution. I supported this amendment, and unfortunately this amendment failed by a vote of 49 - 51. The Senate Budget Resolution will now go to a House-Senate conference where a final budget will be drafted.
Although I understand the need to decrease our nation's dependency on foreign oil, I do not believe that we must destroy this beautiful wildlife refuge to achieve that objective. I firmly believe that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge needs to be protected from drilling. At stake are close to 100,000 acres of nearly pristine land - home to some of the most unique and diverse wildlife in the Arctic. As the budgetary process continues, you can rest assured that I will continue to fight to prevent drilling in the Arctic Refuge.
Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance to your or your family.
United States Senator