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December 21, 2005

The Arctic Dodges The Bullet Again

Good news for America's natural heritage today. The Senate was unable to force cloture and thus ram through oil drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge by attaching it to a defense spending bill.

Maria Cantwell, finally showing some backbone after a string of high-profile cop-outs, led the opposition here. She deserves credit here -- Cantwell's always been very strong on the environment.

With a 2006 re-election fight brewing, Cantwell is clearly feeling some pressure to stand up for the core issues her progressive base expects her to defend. I hope that she carries this newfound enthusiasm through the elections and into her second term, instead of bowing to the right-wing agenda on trade, bankruptcy and tort "reform" as she has in the past.

Posted by Jon Stahl on December 21, 2005 at 02:20 PM in National and International Politics | Permalink


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Cantwell Leads Senate in Stopping Arctic Drilling

Calls for Immediate Passage of Funding Bill for Troops

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) issued the following statement on the successful blocking of drilling in the Arctic from the defense spending bill. Cantwell led the fight on the Senate floor to keep the Senate playing by the rules and putting the people’s interests before the special interests.

“This was a great bipartisan victory for all members who worked to play by the rules and a great bipartisan victory for our troops,” said Cantwell, a member of the Senate’s Commerce and Energy Committees. “I'm glad we stood up to say that this trickery. It’s time to fund and support the troops now without anymore tricks. Now that we’ve successfully removed these provisions from this legislation, we can get down to business and deliver to our men and women in uniform around the world the resources they need to do their jobs and keep America safe. We successfully stopped drilling in the Arctic for now, but we will remain vigilant next year to make sure that the country focuses its energy on real solutions to our over dependence on foreign oil and not Christmas packages for the oil companies.”

Cantwell, who also serves as the chair of Energy Independence 2020, had threatened earlier in the week to use all procedural means to remove the Arctic Refuge drilling provision and had been working to convince her colleagues to stand with her on this issue. Cantwell has been a leader in the fight to prevent drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Posted by: tanner | Dec 21, 2005 2:58:51 PM

Whatever you may think about Cantwell she has always been a leader in the fight against Big Oil sweatheart deals and ANWR drilling. Doing so in face of a Senate stalwart such as Stevens is no small achievement.

Posted by: Daniel K | Dec 21, 2005 8:07:51 PM

Dan, that's true. I just we she was as committed to core progressive issues as she is to the environment. And I say this as someone's whose day job is "environmentalist."

Posted by: Jon Stahl | Dec 21, 2005 8:12:29 PM

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