oil prices, the Iraqi 30-day oil export cut-off, and an oil
export slowdown in Venezuela prompted Republicans this week
to push for approval of drilling in Alaska's Arctic National
Bush Monday suggested the issue is ripe for a vote. He was joined
Tuesday by Interior Secretary Gail Norton and Energy Secretary
has approved drilling in the refuge. The issue for Republican
Senate leaders is whether to seek a vote now or hope refuge
drilling can be addressed during a House-Senate conference on
the energy package.
experts have said the halt of oil sales by Iraq will not have
much impact on the U.S. economy. The United States normally
buys about a third of what Iraq can produce, or about 800,000
barrels a day.