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Monday, April 11, 2005

House committee takes up ANWR rules Wednesday

The House Resources Committee on Wednesday will begin marking up the proposed energy bill to include provisions for tapping oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

This is a crucial stage in the future of the refuge, where committee members will decide what rules will govern oil development there. They may draw heavily on HR 4, the failed 2001 ANWR drilling bill.

Ironically, the Republicans' energy bill has been named SAFE, the Set America Free Act, another classic example of conservative doublespeak because it will do nothing of the sort. Instead, it merely gives someone else a hold on our leash by making the U.S. more dependent on energy from Canada and Mexico. A truly "SAFE" bill would devote huge resources to alternative energy technology, and that's not in the cards.

In the latest issue of The New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert has this to say about the Republican energy policy: "Simply upgrading the standards for replacement tires so that they match those for tires on new cars would avert the need for seven billion barrels (of oil), which is roughly the same amount we could hope to get out of the Arctic Refuge."

Too bad nobody cares about simple stuff like that.

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