A plan to drill for oil in an Arctic wildlife refuge may be in trouble as Senate republicans don’t have the votes to stop a democrat filibuster. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a republican, says Monday’s announcement by Saddam Hussein to suspend oil exports for a month might change a few democrats’ minds — and votes. Grassley says Iraq’s embargo may embolden some to see the importance on a greater reliance on the oil from the U-S, instead of Iraq.Grassley says Senate republicans are currently three votes short of the number needed to stop democrats from obstructing passage of the full bill. He says that’d be undesirable as there are many valuable things in the Energy Bill, including issues involving ethanol, biodiesel and wind power. Grassley favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.Many environmental groups oppose the proposal to drill in ANWR. Grassley says about two thousand acres would be drilled in the Alaskan preserve on 19-million acres. Plus, he says all drilling in Alaska or anywhere in the U-S is subject to strict environmental regulations. Grassley asks if the Sierra Club would rather have drilling in Alaska with regulations, or the Russians drilling in Siberia with not regulations. Grassley says the whole plan is a “no brainer.”The site may contain more than 11-billion barrels of oil. Environmentalists say drilling in ANWR would not help reduce U-S reliance on foreign oil as products from the site wouldn’t be available for several years.
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