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Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Today, Senate Republicans were unable to come up with the necessary 60 votes to override a threatened Democratic filibuster on a Defense Spending Bill. The only reason Democrats threatened a filibuster was because Republican Sen. Ted Stevens attached a rider that would allow oil drilling in America's largest, most pristine environmental treasure -- the Artic National Wildlife Refuge. As such, the Democrats in the Senate are solely responsible for preventing the violent rape of ANWR by collosal oil corporations.

Although the media playing off the drilling in ANWR as a pet project of 82 year old Super Duper Corporate Tool Senator Stevens, the reality is that the entire Republican party has salivated at the chance to destroy the environment while simultaneously lining the pockets of their dear friends in the oil industry. In 1995, the Republicans passed drilling in ANWR as part of a filibuster-proof budget. Fortunately for the environment, President Bill Clinton vetoed the Republicans' evil plan.

We do not need to drill in ANWR. We wouldn't get any oil at all for 10 years and even then we would still rely heavily on foriegn imports. The U.S. Geological Service estimates that less than 1 year worth of oil lies under the refuge. One of the Republicans' favorite lies on the subject is that only 2,000 acres of the 1.5 million would need to be used for drilling. This is a total lie. As this map shows, the oil deposits are spread throught the Reserve. Drilling would be occuring over, essentially, the entire Refuge. Further, even if the actual pipelines only will make up 2,000 acres, that's not the only cost of drilling in ANWR. Roads, for one, would need to be built in places that have no roads. The delicate ecosytem of ANWR would be forever destroyed due to the massive human invasion.

Our dependence on foreign oil is a huge problem. But the remedy isn't just drilling for oil in every last place on Earth. That's like saying that a 600 pound man's hunger can only be satiated by buying 10 more Happy Meals. The solution is to get the fat man to lose weight. Similarly, our solution is to stop using oil in the long term and drastically cut back in the short run. All of you Republicans who are so concerned about "dependence on foreign oil" should stop driving your Earth-hating SUVs. You should start requiring auto manufacturers to produce more hybrids instead of the limited models presented today. You should demand that Republicans stop fighting increases in fuel efficiency. Cars are less fuel efficient today than 25 years ago, but the same Republicans allegedly concerned about "dependence on foreign oil" don't want to do anything to make us use less gas.

The bottom line: Republicans are lying about a concern that we are over-reliant on foreign oil. The truth is that they don't value the environment whatsoever and want to increase profits as much as possible for their cronies in the oil industry. Some focus group told them that the only way to sell the idea was by pointing to national security and reliance on foreign oil. Those arguments are completely bogus because Republicans could remedy those problems by encouraging conservation, which they refuse to.

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