August 08, 2005


Opponents of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve who think they have won are in for an unpleasant surprise next month. Avoiding a potential filibuster over the bill if ANWR drilling had been included, GOP Senators will have the last laugh.

A provision authorizing the drilling will be made a part of the supplementary budget process. This provision - introduced by NM Senator Pete Domenici - in September will be immune to a filibuster or any other parliamentary chicanery that Democrats try to pull. How can this be, you ask?

Unlike typical legislation, the budget process is not subject to filibuster. The federal government stands to share the revenue generated by oil drilling leases with the State of Alaska. So the budget will assume $2.5 Billion in leasing revenue beginning in 2007. This will allow for a document to accompany the budget authorizing the drilling in the first place. It's called a "reconciliation document" and is easily expected to get the 51 votes necessary in the Senate. A similar process will happen in the House as well. Then Bush will sign it into law.

Game. Set. Match.

The pestilential wasteland that is the northern slope of ANWR will then be officially open to oil drilling. It ain't gonna help pump prices for several years, but it's a start toward weaning ourselves off foreign oil.

Now imagine if we'd just done this five years ago? Sheesh.

Cross-posted at Ex-Donkey Blog

Posted by Gary at August 8, 2005 10:07 AM | TrackBack
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