Cantwell Commends Move to Protect Arctic Refuge from Drilling

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Thursday, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, commended the House Budget Committee for its decision to leave Arctic Refuge drilling provisions out of the House Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2007.

“We need real, forward-looking solutions to our energy needs,” said Cantwell, the Senate Democrats’ point person on energy issues. “I hope we can finally short-circuit this debate and begin working together to end our nation’s dangerous addiction to oil. The U.S. House of Representatives should not accept any proposal that includes Refuge drilling.”

Earlier this month, the Senate passed a Budget Resolution directing the Senate Energy Committee to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration and development. Cantwell has vowed to use her seat on the Energy Committee to stop this shortsighted plan in favor of a more comprehensive, long-term solution to America’s energy needs. Cantwell led the fight to stop Arctic Refuge drilling last year, thwarting a Republican-led effort to manipulate the budget and appropriations process.