Republicans see new chance for oil drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The last time congressional Republicans mounted a serious push to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration, they painted America as a desperate petroleum mess. The need, they said, was clear.

The country consumed and imported more oil than ever before, produced less than at any time since World War II and paid near-record prices.

Still, the 2005 bid to drill in the 19.6-million acre wilderness in Alaska failed as Democrats and some Republicans, supported by major environmental groups, pushed back with a politically popular message to conserve one last immense expanse of pristine wildlands from industrial depredation.

Today, U.S. oil production is nearing a record 10 million barrels a day, imports are at the lowest level since the mid-1990s and prices are less than half of what they were a decade ago. Against that backdrop, the Republican-led Congress again appears to be focused on drilling in the Arctic refuge.

Read entire article at: