Wednesday, March 16, 2005

ANWR N'Things 

First, an apology.

My long ANWR post of yesterday was filled with typos and bad links. Please accept my regrets. Nor, ordinarily, would I have let it run to such length, and instead, would have discussed the idiocy of Kristof in a separate post. Although it is far too easy to blame all things on Blogger, yesterday was an especially bad Blogger day which made it impossible to have control of what got put up on the blog.

I further apologize for not knowing the structure of Roman Numerials as well as I probably ought to, but I would also point out that the extreme and inaccurate form I used was also meant to be a visual joke.

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging to announce with great sadness and even greater anger that the Cantwell amendment was rejected by the Senate mere minutes ago, 51 to 49.

The overwhelming majority of Republicans voted against the amendment, and in favor of allowing the sale of leases for the purpose of drilling for oil in a protected Wildlife Refuge. Democrats picked up a few Republicans, and we were betrayed, to their eternal shame, by Mary Landrieu, who apparently decided that her state's oil and gas interests were more important than our American heritage, as well as by both Senators from Hawaii, Messrs. Akaka and Inouye; what on earth is that all about? Anyone with an answer please let us know in comments are by email. I don't yet have the exact breakdown of the votes; I was watching the vote on C-Span but couldn't hear every vote.

This doesn't have to be the end of this issue. It's going to take a long time before leases are made available, the big oil companies aren't anxious to go in there, we can make it even more unattractive for them. ANWR, if handled correctly, can also become part of a nexus of issues upon which Democrats can mount a national campaign in 2006 for a return of control of congress to the Democratic party.

This just in: The NYTimes has the breakdown of votes and some additional information, including the fact that another vote will be required to directly authorize drilling here: The three Democrats noted above were the only Democrats who jumped ship; joining the rest of the Democrats were Jim Jeffords and six Republicans: McCain, Norm Coleman, Mike DeWine, Chaffee, Gordon Smith, and both of the lady Senators from Maine.

We probably need a couple of days to mourn, but then it's more than ever organization time. The obvious next target is the gas and coal industry, to inform them that if they thought the Valdez spill was a PR nightmare, they can't imagine what we're prepared to do, within the law, to blacken their reputation if they bid on any leases, up to including organizing a human barrier ready to meet their heavy equipment when they try to exercise their so-called right to drill in ANWR. This is just the first battle in what is clearly a war.

Here's a thought for some theraputic action to take the place of sitting shiva, (a Jewish way of mourning that incorporates long periods of mopping). Why not send a friendly letter to Nick Kristof thanking him for choosing to write, on the eve of the vote on ANWR, about what wusses environmentalists are, instead of writing about the madness of King George W. and his Republican courtiers in insisting on opening up ANWR for drilling when the oil and gas industries don't really want to go in there. Or any other message that is appropriately polite, yet snarky. As far as I can see there's no way to email columnists. But you can certainly drop a line to Kristof c/o The New York Times,229 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.

All for now, while I take some time to mope.

corrente SBL - New Location
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