House lawmakers opened the way for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as one of their last acts of an all-night session Monday bringing their legislative year to a close.
The ANWR provision was attached to a major defense bill, forcing many opponents of oil and gas exploration in the barren northern Alaska range to vote for it. The bill, passed 308-106, also included money for hurricane relief and bird flu preventive measures.
The vote came at 5 a.m. as bleary-eyed legislators struggled to wrap up their work for the year. Democratic anger over the process was put aside briefly as lawmakers greeted Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, who returned to vote after suffering a heart attack Thursday.
Monday, December 19, 2005
The battle goes on....