Senate rejects Alaska drilling

| 4/19/2002

By a significant margin, the Senate today rejected oil development in an Arctic wildlife refuge despite President Bush's claim that drilling would not harm the environment or wildlife.

Senate Republicans fell 14 votes short of the 60 needed to break a Democratic filibuster and allow a vote on an amendment to allow drilling. Given the vote, sponsors were expected to withdraw the amendment, clearing the way for approval of an energy bill by the Senate.

White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said President Bush would continue to fight for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but he sidestepped a question on whether Bush would sign an energy bill that does not include refuge drilling, AP reported.