April 24, 2005

Drilling on the lawn

After the Senate and then the House voted to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, I was a little too bummed to blog about it.

You have to realize this is a theological dispute. What is at stake is not the amount of the reserves nor how long they would last. The pro-drilling people simply chose to ignore that argument. What is at stake is that it is a mortal sin to put a place off-limits to oil drilling--at least in the minds of Bush & Co.

When I was a boy, we had relatives in Oklahoma City (my great-uncle, Pat Pugh, started a Ford dealership there). I remember being impressed by the fact that there were oil derricks right on the lawn of the state capitol building. The message was clear: Drilling Is Most Important.

Not all Alaskans support drilling in ANWR, despite the noises coming from the economic-development types. Green Century, the environmentally conscious mutual fund group, claimed that ConocoPhillips had withdrawn from the pro-drilling lobby.

However, if you go here to register your disapproval, guess which energy company Web site refuses your email?

I don't think the battle is over, but I don't know how the next stage will be rhetorically framed.

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