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.
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.
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.