WASHINGTON, DC — Republican proponents of oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska have now introduced amendments to the Senate energy bill calling for drilling and the measure is expected to be decided this week.

The New York Times reported that, attempting to pick up more Senate support from steel-making states, Republican senators included an accompanying amendment requiring that a portion of the revenue generated from the oil would be used to help pay retirement benefits for steel workers to aid the financially strapped steel industry.

However, because of the staunch opposition of environmental groups, as well as Democratic opposition, the amendments are seen as having little chance of being approved.

Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD), the majority leader, commented that Republican leaders do not have the 60 votes necessary under Senate rules to force a final vote on the issue.

Publication date: 04/15/2002