Every Senate Republican voted to block an amendment that would have protected a swath of the Alaskan Arctic flouting attempts from Democrats and environmental groups to maintain the region under government protection.
"That is a frontal attack in an ideological struggle. The Arctic is your holy grail."
"That is a clear attempt to use the budget reconciliation process to pass a divisive and controversial proposal that will lead us in the wrong direction on climate."
"The notion that we, tonight, following 60-plus decades, could give up what's a biologically important area, a critical habitat for polar bears, a breeding ground for caribou, migratory birds and over 200 species -- for what? For petroleum we do not need?" Cantwell said on the Senate floor Thursday, according into The Hill.
"Those who'd support this amendment will deny us the chance to do something constructive in this country, in regards to our chances to produce energy, to produce riches," Murkowski said. Components of the ANWR that could be opened for drilling are considered to hold 10.3 billion barrels of oil, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have pushed to permit the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee (which Murkowski seats) to pass laws to increase $1 billion within the next ten years.
Environmental groups say government earnings from drilling permits in some of the refuge is a probable source to increase such money even though a provision including the ANWR -- as the Arctic book is famous -- is not explicit. The bill was voted down, 52 to 48. Democrat Joe Manchin was the only member of his party to vote against it, and Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) was the lone Republican in service.
A bill to open up drilling in the ANWR would demand a vote because it's in the budget program, rather than the 60 votes needed making the prospects of a decision much easier. Democrats, headed by Sen. Maria Cantwell, were trying to add an addendum to the room's budget plan which would bar drilling at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, that covers over 19 million acres in northeastern Alaska. The region, explained by the state's tourism agency as one of Alaska's crown jewels, is home to polar bears, caribou, moose and countless species of migratory birds. The Washington Post reported in Sept. that the Trump administration was searching at the ANWR as a supply of petroleum revenue.
An internal memo set out strategies to lift restrictions on seismic studies in the sanctuary, which was closed to such petroleum mining for decades. "Already contending with climate change, now's vote casts their potential into even greater doubt. A caribou herd, in addition to hundreds of bird species, muskoxen and wolves stand to lose from drilling in the refuge.
"Republicans are trying to use the funding process to ram through drilling in the crown jewel of America's wildlife refuge system since they know they do not have the votes to do this through regular order," Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) Said in a statement. "Republicans are moving forward with a budget which includes this poison pill to deliver the wildest place left in America to Big Oil. This is nothing more than fossil fuel folly."
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