House Opens Way for Oil Drilling in ArcticOne of those "opponents" of oil and gas exploration on that barren northern Alaska range was none other than our very own Mark Kennedy, who no doubt found himself on the outs with many of the party faithful with his seemingly senseless opposition to domestic oil exploration.
Dec 19, 7:35 AM (ET) (AP) Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., right, meets with House Budget Committee Chairman Jim... Full Image WASHINGTON (AP) - House lawmakers opened the way for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as one of their last acts of an all-night session Monday bringing their legislative year to a close.
The House also narrowly passed a plan to cut deficits by almost $40 billion over five years in legislation hailed by GOP conservatives as a sign their party was returning to fiscal discipline and assailed by Democrats as victimizing medical and education programs that help the poor.
The ANWR provision was attached to a major defense bill, forcing many opponents of oil and gas exploration in the barren northern Alaska range to vote for it. The bill, passed 308-106, also included money for hurricane relief and bird flu preventive measures. (emphases mine)
This vote, however, may have actually given Mark Kennedy much-needed cover; giving him a slice of cake while at the same time an opportunity to eat it. On a morning newscast, I heard a Kennedy soundbite in which he stated something to the effect that it would have been irresponsible to vote against the bill, given that it was a major defense bill, which contained funding for major military projects. Unfortunately, along with major military projects and ANWR drilling (which could also be definitely argued to be a national security issue during a time of war); there was the inevitable pork attached:
A $453 billion defense spending bill became the flypaper for issues that have eluded congressional compromise. Those included, along with the ANWR provision, $29 billion in federal aid for victims of Katrina and other storms; an additional $2 billion to help low-income families with home heating costs; and $3.8 billion to prepare for a possible bird flu pandemic.And perhaps the most interesting fact regarding this $453 Billion dollar "defense spending bill":
Of the defense money (Again, 453 billion dollars) 50 billion is for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan (emphases mine).Like I said. A droplet of common sense; in a sea of insanity.
(Filed under RINOS, Energy Madness, Enviro-Whackism).