Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, August 08, 2005

ANWR: Any Nitwit Will Rant ... And Lose?

ANWR, formerly and correctly known as the Strategic Oil Reserve, may become an oil source soon, despite its disappointing exclusion from the recently passed energy bill. On tap is a fancy bit of filibuster avoidance that everyone on the Hill must have known was coming, but no one talked about until today (source):

[Sen. Pete] Domenici said he will include a provision authorizing ANWR drilling as part of a budget procedure that is immune to filibuster. A similar maneuver is being planned in the House, although the final strategy is still being worked out.

Unlike normal legislation, the budget process is not subject to filibuster, so only 51 votes will be needed in the Senate for it to clear Congress and be signed into law by the president. Just such a tactic was used a decade ago when Congress approved ANWR drilling as part of the budget process, only to see the measure vetoed by then-President Clinton, a drilling opponent.

Greeniedems pretended outrage:
It's "backdoor budget chicanery," complained Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., an ANWR drilling opponent. "By shoehorning the Arctic refuge into the budget, they are making an end-run around the legislative process, knowing it cannot pass the Senate any other way."
Note to Markey: You're a member of the minority party for a reason. It's called voters.