Senate on March 19 rejected oil drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge,
handing the Bush administration a defeat on one of its top energy
priorities, The Associated Press reported.
of oil beneath the 100-mile coastal plain of the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska has been a key part of President
Bush's energy plan. However, environmentalists oppose drilling and
its effect on wildlife.
intense lobbying by pro-drilling senators, Democrats mustered the
support needed to remove a refuge drilling provision from a budget
resolution expected to be approved later this week.
vote on an amendment offered by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA, to strip
away the provision passed 52-48.
is a national treasure," said Sen. John Kerry, D-MA, one of
the Democrats who successfully blocked attempts to lift the drilling
ban last year. "God only gave us 3 percent of the world's oil.
The Middle East has about 65 percent ... and a 2 percent difference
for the destruction of the wilderness does not solve America's problem."
United States uses about 20 million barrels of oil a day.