A Great Loss

Perhaps it is wishful thinking, but a diarist at dailykos, aptly named lorax, proposes new measures we can take to try and save the refuge—Chris

Everybody that cares about the environment has to be outraged by the Senate vote today that gave the green light to drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.  This drilling is unnecessary, would produce at best only a few months worth of additional oil supply for America, and would certainly destroy a pristine and beautiful Artic wilderness that until now has been protected by Congress.

Active exploration and drilling for oil has occurred on the north slope of Alaska for many years.  Prudhoe Bay and ANWR are both on the north slope.  95% of the north slope is open to oil exploration, only 5% (the coastal plain of ANWR) is currently protected.  We should keep it protected -- for the animals, for the birds, for us, for the wildness of it.

Several years ago my wife Francesca and I camped in a river valley of ANWR then flew over the ANWR coastal plain, where the drilling would occur, on our way to visit Prudhoe Bay.  Simply put, ANWR is beautiful, Prudhoe Bay is ugly.

Drilling for oil -- the roads, rigs, buildings and pipes -- despoils the environment, plain and simple.

Every Pennsylvanian should be angry that our two U.S. Senators voted to approve drilling in ANWR.  We need leaders who will fight to protect our environment, in Alaska and at home.

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Comments

41 Comments

Senators who voted to drill have sold their souls
...to ExxonMobile. Santorum needs to pay for this in 2006.

I suggest we take the tack that LCV took in Colorado: they branded Coors "Polluter Pete" and Walcher "Water-grab Walcher".

Any suggestions?

PS to Joe -- What don't YOU run for Dirty Rick's seat?

by AnneinPhilly 2005-03-16 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Senators who have sold their souls
We should start fundraising now for a candidate to run against DeLay and Santorum, sight unseen.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-16 01:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Senators who have sold their souls
Sight unseen? Like making a trustfund for the grandkid my in-laws want??? ;-)
by AnneinPhilly 2005-03-16 01:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Senators who have sold their souls
Well shame on them, but in Hawaii, Akaka and Inyoue are insitutions that will leave office only when they're ready too.
by Meteora 2005-03-16 06:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Senators who have sold their souls
Probably so, but I have seen several politicians called that and then been defeated.  Even if we can't knock them out, I think a serious grassroots challenge that can throw the fear into them might get them back in line.  I think Harry Reid and Dick Durbin need to go tear the Gentlemen from Hawaii a new one for this.  
by yitbos96bb 2005-03-17 06:56AM | 0 recs
Campaign Moniker
Sold-Your-Soul Santorum!
by Hiram615 2005-03-17 02:04AM | 0 recs
Naming names
We have to get in the habit of identifying the individuals who vote this way and their reasons.

From the dkos diaryJoe Hoeffel linked to above:

Landrieu (D-LA), Akaka (D-HA) and Inouye (D-HA)

It's these three Democrats that blew it on this bill. Seven Republicans, including even some fairly conservative senators, like  Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Mike DeWine of Ohio, and Gordon Smith of Oregon, voted against drilling.

It was key Democrats here that in the end opened the way to drilling in the ANWR. Apparently the three Dems were quite aggrieved by gas prices, or something.

Somebody has to find a way to reason with these three Democratic Senators.

Democratic leaders can't lose such key votes in their own caucus and hope to win this.

Bush and Frist will keep picking of DLC turncoats like flies for every single bill if Reid doesn't do something. I think Dems should just shut the whole damn session down for the duration. Absolutely nothing good is going to come from this session of Congress.

It's like conservatives are always preaching, the less time politicians spend in D.C. mucking things up the better.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-16 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Naming names
We can't reason with these bastards we have to get rid of them.

With Democrats like these, and votes like this one, the Democratic Party has no right to exist and has no legitimate claim for support.

The time has come for the members of the public who care about opposing the Bush-GOP agenda to go nuclear against these sell-outs. These votes are in-excusable, and I am fed up with the idea that we should forgive them for their occasional transgressions, that day is long gone.

I can't vote against senators not in my state, but I can with hold support for the Democratic Party on these grounds and that is exactly what I am going to do. I can give limited support to worthy third party candidates who run against them.

by leschwartz 2005-03-16 02:01PM | 0 recs
Problem is...
...voters in thier home states may like this vote.  Lousiana has lots of oil production, although that's a bit of a stretch as being a big deal on this bill which didn't directly effect them.

However, Hawaii is a different kettle of fish.

  1. Hawaii depends on tourism, which is greatly affected by the cost of jet fuel used to power the jets to get there.
  2. Hawaii has the highest gas prices in the country.
  3. Hawaii and Alaska have this kindship thing going-senators from the two states tend to vote in blocks for anything that directly effects one or the other.

So, it's easy to see how Hawaiian senators would side with the oil drillers.  A few defections from each party on every vote is to be expected-in fact, we held our caucus together better than they did.  Our problem is that they have five more guys then we do (six not counting Jeffords, who isn't 100% reliably for us).
by Geotpf 2005-03-16 03:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Problem is...
Sorry, I can not agree with any of your points.

For example, I live in California. A lot of people forget that CA used to be a major oil producer. When my family moved here there were giant oil tanks downtown, not just ugly, but a continuing health and serious hazard which caused the shutdown of a 60 million dollar shool construction project just a few years ago, although the oil fields under the property were shut down many decades ago and there was suppossed to have been a cleanup.

CA also has oil dereks off of Santa Barbera and San Louis Obispo, an ugly site, a continuing source of polutiuon, and they smell real bad all the time too.

The point is about LA; just because a state is an oil producer doen't excuse them from thinking logically about where oil production should be and where it should not be.

It should not be despoiling beautiful areas like Santa Barbera or the CA central coast. It should not be done in down-town LA near millions of people.

Oil production should also not be done in Anwar.

Besides, I am sure that you know that;

  1. anwar will have zip near term impact and little to no long term impact, so its not going to affect the price of gas or home heating oil anywhere including ALA and HI.
  2. Drilling in anwar is a very bad idea environmentally
  3. its not a solution to our near term or long term energy needs

Further, I am not going to excuse any democrat for any bogus inexcuasble vote and any vote which supports the Bush GOP agenda at all in the slightest.

No forgiveness, no excuses, no tomorrow.

I am finished with these corporate sell-outs and lying ass-hole bastards.

It has come time for people to wake up and smell the stinking oil pit motivations of BushCo.

We are not living in normal times and what is happening in our government is seriously wrong, the country is headed in the wrong direction across the board AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS BECOME A MAJOR PART OF THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION.

by leschwartz 2005-03-16 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Problem is...
Yep,  that's right!
by bellarose 2005-03-16 04:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Naming names
Where the hell is Reid??  What exactly has this guy accomplished thus far?

He can't even save freaking ANWAR?   He can't keep (3) Dems in line for one damned vote!!

by bellarose 2005-03-16 03:55PM | 0 recs
The Hawai'i votes were bought
Stevens got them in exchange for recognition of the Hawai'ians as an indigenous people that can negotiate sovreignly with the US gov't.

ANWR is a half-problem for me.

The basic notion of drilling is good.

However, the infrastructure and transport of oil out of Alska is abysmal and largely unregulated.

The pipeline is a leaky, paper-thin joke.  And the other option is to transport by tanker across the roughest seas in the world.

With or without ANWR drilling, the threat is still there because no one makes the oil industry clean up its act.

I'm not sure how expensive oil has to become before they make enough that running a clean show is marginal in costs.  Given that most of the current price of oil (a good $15 or so) is speculative, the oil industry has improved its margin enough they ought to be able to fix the Alaska pipeline, hire some tanker pilots who've found AA, improve navigation and early warning systems, and fix their hauls.

It's not too much to ask from an industry that will dominate civilization for at least the next half-cenury.

by jcjcjc 2005-03-16 05:09PM | 0 recs
Re: The Hawai'i votes were bought
Stevens got them in exchange for recognition of the Hawai'ians as an indigenous people that can negotiate sovreignly with the US gov't.

Did they already accomplish this?  This seems like the type of legislation Dems would likely vote for.

So don't vote for it!  How hard is it to hold people accountable?

by bellarose 2005-03-16 05:33PM | 0 recs
It's no ones backyard
The problem is tha polar bears don't vote.

So, a bunch of deals were cu to make this happen.

The two Sens from HI got indigienous sovreignty recognized.

The FLA Sens got a promise that his will not mean drilling in the Keys.

I'm sure someone from Texas will get a big dirty bag of money.

It's lovely to see how we can help the GOP fight its own best people.  Go figure.

It's a cheap and shitty thing for the two Hawai'ian Senators to deal like this.

On the other hand, I will say that Alaskans have had a long time to ag this thing.  Instead, they kept Stevens and Murkowski #2.

So . . . make of that what you will.  

Given that no one listens to New Yorkers' opinions about terrorism, I think it's only fair we ignore Alaskans' views on oil development.

by jcjcjc 2005-03-16 07:58PM | 0 recs
Update
Apparently the Hawai'ians also gave Czechoslovakia to the Germans in exchange for a promise that Germany would not want any more land.
by jcjcjc 2005-03-16 08:02PM | 0 recs
Re: It's no ones backyard
Um maybe I am wrong, but I was under the impression that ANWR was supported by a majority of Alaskans as it would bring money and jobs to the state.  I could be mistaken but I thought I had heard this.
by yitbos96bb 2005-03-17 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: It's no ones backyard
I included that in my comments.

I'm not overtly opposed to drilling.

I'm opposed to their unwillingness to improve and upgrade their transport of the oil out of the arctic.  For example, the pipeline is in a state of decay that is unacceptable.  It is frequently damaged and it takes days to repair.  In the meantime, it just sits there leaking.

Others may take a different view.

by jcjcjc 2005-03-17 09:24AM | 0 recs
I gave 3 ratings to AK's comments
He was unfairly troll rated, IMHO.  I also agree with him to a certain extent.

We have to admit that the nation needs oil to operate as a modern society, and it will continue to do so for a long time.  I don't know if drilling in ANWR is the answer (the enviromental problems are real), but finding additional domestic sources of oil is needed.

by Geotpf 2005-03-18 06:32AM | 0 recs
Re: I gave 3 ratings to AK's comments
I don't think it was unfair to troll rate someone who called Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington a "cunt".
by Curt Matlock 2005-03-18 06:44AM | 0 recs
Then troll rate only the offending comment
Do not troll rate every comment from the poster.
by Geotpf 2005-03-18 07:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Then troll rate only the offending comment
I didn't. Just that one. After that comment I can see why others might have felt the need to just look for the name and troll-rate. Having said that I agree that by themselves his other posts didn't deserve a troll rating.
by Curt Matlock 2005-03-18 07:30AM | 0 recs
Somebody else did
After your comment, I troll rated the offending post myself. :)
by Geotpf 2005-03-18 04:32PM | 0 recs
Another wasted opportunity
Look at the Republicans that voted for the Cantwell amendment - McCain, Coleman, deWine, Chafee- 7 total!  They seem to have at least a basic understanding of supply and demand and realize that a few months worth of oil being piped out of Alaska isn't going to mean a thing for gasoline prices or the price of heating oil.  

In addition to destroying some of the last pristine wilderness in the hemisphere, this vote represents the success by the administration and the leadership in Congress to connect rising gas and oil prices to environmental protection.  I can picture Bush now, "the reason it costs $80 dollars to fill your Hummer is cuz the tree huggers won't let me drill."  They will continue to paint anyone with common sense, a rudimentary understanding of economics, and a desire to protect the environment as an obstructionist.  This thimbleful of oil will only serve to enable them (and most of the country) to avoid the hard choices of having to conserve by increasing fuel efficiency and investing tax dollars (heaven forbid!) into finding real alternatives to fossil fuels.  

If only two of the three Democrats that voted against it had voted with the party (or if people had chosen a certain progressive Congressman/author of this diary instead of a certain senior Senator from Pennsylvania), this amendment would have passed and maybe we could be talking about some real solutions right now.

by STRv444es 2005-03-16 01:23PM | 0 recs
What pisses me off
If that the Reps have 55 Senate votes, and even when enough of them defect for us to win, we get screwed by our own side.
by ben114 2005-03-16 01:40PM | 0 recs
I think the biggest loss is the moral high ground
Yes I am sickened by the thought of losing ANWR, but I think the bigger loss will be the global impact of this. If the richest country in the world (at least until about 4 years ago) can't preserve its last unspoiled lands, how can we expect the Brazil's of the world to do it? What sort of leverage do we have to say, "you know, you really shouldn't log that rain forest"? None. There was a time when I thought America was the greatest country in the world. What a joke.
by TJonBergman 2005-03-16 03:08PM | 0 recs
Feingold-Chafee Amendment down too
It looks from the Senate roll call site that the Feingold-Chafee amendment to the Budget Bill to require PAYGO rules--that is, any tax cut as well as spending increase had to be offset by increased revenue or spending cuts so that the deficit would not increase--has gone down to defeat.  I do not know the vote.  This means that tax cuts do not need to be offset but budget increases do.

In addition, I noticed that an amendment by Sen. Stabenow to increase money for first responders went down to defeat.  The GOP is not interested in making America safe.  These are two more votes to hang around the necks of GOP candidates next year.

by Mimikatz 2005-03-16 04:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Feingold-Chafee Amendment down too
Of course first responders don't matter...The GOP can increase defense spending and say that they are making us safe.  They then gain the votes of the soldiers which I believe is higher than first responders or very close but I could be wrong.  They also get nice kickb...I mean donations from the companies who get the defense contracts...They wouldn't get the same donations by helping first responders.

See the problem is you are using logic and common sense...and to plagarize Chris Rock...

"The GOP isn't going to let something like sense fuck up their argument."

by yitbos96bb 2005-03-17 07:07AM | 0 recs
Feingold is positioning himself smartly
He's putting up lots of popular-sounding amendments to all sorts of bills that the Republicans shoot down.  He's preparing for his 08 presidential run, IMHO.  He can throw these amendments back in the face of Santorum or Frist or any other Republican senator that may be his opponent.  Very smart.
by Geotpf 2005-03-17 09:52AM | 0 recs
LANDRIEU'S VOTE
Wrong.  Drilling in ANWR has everything to do with Louisiana.  It is expected to create 15,000 jobs for the state, as massive amounts of expertise and services will be required once exploration, drilling, production, etc get under way.  Landrieu - and Breaux - have made it clear for years where they stood on this issue and have voted for it as it has come up.  No one should be surprised by her vote.  Many are crying for retribution against her.  Well, many were rooting for Knowles to beat Murkowski in the Alaska senate race, although he was an avowed supporter of drilling in ANWR. It would have been political suicide for Landrieu to vote against this.  It's not her fault that we Dems lost so many senate seats as to be unable to stop this unfortunate event.  We're doing good by holding on to her seat.  But if we get rid of Landrieu her replacement would be unbearable to imagine.
by LouisianaDem 2005-03-16 08:33PM | 0 recs
Thanks for the explanation
Of course I would still prefer if every Dem toed the party line, but this was a very informative post.
by Steve M 2005-03-17 05:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for the explanation
I agree.  I am more ticked at the Hawaiian senators than Landrieu.  I wish she had towed the line, but I was not surprised by her vote, even before I read this post.  The reason she voted that way was different that I thought, but the reason above makes a lot of sense.  
by yitbos96bb 2005-03-17 07:09AM | 0 recs
Re: LANDRIEU'S VOTE
After her narrow victory in 2002 in a state that is trending "red" fast, Landrieu knows she will be #1 on the GOP hitlist in 2008.

Landrieu isn't perfect, but she's better than a Louisiana Republican.

It's just too bad the LA Dems couldn't get their shit together in time to stop Vitter from winning outright in the general election.

by wayward 2005-03-17 03:08PM | 0 recs
Conservativism is dead.
Real conservatives used to be about conservation. And that means conserving our national resources and environment. Nixon founded the EPA. Today republicans have sold out conservation to oil and lumber companies. It's a fucking disgrace. Every republican I confront with these facts doesn't have any justification for it either. Neocons are Wilsonian liberals in conservative clothing.
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-03-16 11:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Conservativism is dead.
Proof positive the political spectrum is circular instead of linear.  
by yitbos96bb 2005-03-17 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Conservativism is dead.
I seriously thought I was the only one with that theory because I truly believe it. Good to know I'm not alone.
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-03-18 02:54AM | 0 recs
I seems reasonable.......
that if we are going to perimit oil companies to drill in ANWAR, we should require them to build refining capacity in this country!  More crude alone, is not the answer.  Oil from Alaska should only be sent to American refiners.
by Hiram615 2005-03-17 02:13AM | 0 recs
Dear Cong. Hoeffel
It's an honor to have you posting here.  That's all.  I look forward to your next campaign, even if it's not going to be in 2006 against Santorum as many of us would have hoped.
by Adam B 2005-03-17 02:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Dear Cong. Hoeffel
2010 for Specter's seat?  Especially if it is open.
by yitbos96bb 2005-03-17 07:11AM | 0 recs
Alaskan tourism
Too much of Alaskan tourism is centered on the cruise ships and the RR trip from Anchorage to Denali.  If we want to save the state's environment, more places need to be invested in tourism rather than extraction.

Why does the state promote "seeing wildlife" by taking the RR to Denali?  Maybe because they own the railroad.  As for me, I took a plane flight over Denali from Anchorage and went to Kodiak and Katmai to see wildlife.

This is a huge state, stunningly beautiful and fragile.  Alaskans may have to realize that they benefit more from tourism and renewable resource industries (fishing, timber) than oil drilling.

Ted Stevens son is a lobbyist.  The funny thing is, other than the lobbyists, many of the jobs for construction and maintenance of the pipeline went to outsiders.  Still, unless the tourism and fishing exceeds the value for most Alaskans of their thousand dollar Alaska Permanent Fund check. we will continue to have problems.

by David Kowalski 2005-03-17 05:40AM | 0 recs
Hey, look on the bright side...
We'll be paying a penny less per gallon come 2015!
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-03-18 03:06AM | 0 recs

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