Editorial: Dear Senate, thanks for nothing

The next time gas prices go up at the pump, you can thank the Democratic majority of the U.S. Senate. 

In a moment of infinite wisdom, the Senate rejected Tuesday an amendment to a bill that would have opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling for oil. The vote was 41-57. Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich voted for the amendment.

So rather than drill for oil on American soil — a potential for more than 800,000 barrels a day — our oh-so-wise Senators would sooner get in bed with a bunch of environmentalists and leave our gas prices in the hands of foreign governments.

Senators, here’s a thought for you: Spend less time worrying about political lines and getting re-elected and spend more time solving our national energy crisis with our oil underneath our feet.

Twelve times a bill has passed the House of Representatives that would have opened ANWR. The only time such legislation actually passed the Senate it was vetoed by then President Bill Clinton. Had Clinton not vetoed that bill, we would be in a totally different situation than we are now.

We couldn’t say for sure we would be independent of foreign oil, but we would be well on our way to finding a more permanent solution to the rising prices at the gas pump. That added relief at the pump would likely help struggling families across America in this time of economic unrest, but you must not be familiar with that concept.

Simply put, we are tired of the political party rhetoric over ANWR. It is obvious the two political parties can’t agree on what is best for the nation on this issue.

So, here’s a thought — sell ANWR to a group of individuals. 

Private ownership instead of federal ownership — what a concept. Wait a minute, isn’t that working now in North Dakota, Texas and Oklahoma?

If the Senate’s attitude on ANWR — which has a great amount of Alaska support for development — is indicative of the rest of the issues they address, we wonder just how much they really listen to us or work with the House of Representatives.

If the people of Alaska continue to ask our government to open ANWR, perhaps you ought to listen. It is amazing that these people seem to know what’s best for an area they couldn’t point to on a map.

In short: Thanks for nothing, again, Senators. You can bet we’ll be back again, when gas prices are even higher and our reliance on foreign oil remains. Will you listen then? We hope so. But if the last two decades are any indication, we won’t hold our breath.

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