House Passes Bill That Seeks to Open Arctic Refuge to Oil Drilling -- Again

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(5/25/2006) - Washington, D.C. – Today the House of Representatives passed a bill introduced by Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA) that would allow oil companies to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This latest attempt by pro-drilling advocates comes after the House refused to include a similar provision in their 2007 budget language that sought to open the Arctic refuge to oil drilling, and after defeats in both the House and Senate late last year. Below is a statement by Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife.

"This is the best they can do? American families are looking to our elected officials in Washington to offer real-time, substantive solutions to high energy costs, and all the House leadership can think of is more drilling, which will do nothing to lower gas prices. This is an opportunity for true leadership, not a chance to once again sneak through Item #1 on the oil companies' agenda. Since 1995, the GOP leadership has tried 11 times and used every trick in the book to pass drilling in the Arctic refuge and always failed. 

"Enough is enough. Drilling in the Arctic refuge will not help alleviate our dependence on foreign oil or lower gas prices — ever. Supply is not the problem. America's overwhelming demand for oil is the problem because we take in 25 percent of the world's oil, but we sit on only 3 percent of it. Congress needs to focus on cleaner energy solutions and cease their dead-end drilling obsession that is only perpetuating the country's dependence on fossil fuels."

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Defenders of Wildlife is recognized as one of the nation's most progressive advocates for wildlife and its habitat. With more than 490,000 members and supporters, Defenders of Wildlife is an effective leader on endangered species issues.

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Contact(s):

William Lutz, (202) 772-0269
Deborah Bagocius, 202-772-0239

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