US Senate Lacks Votes for ANWR

The U.S. Senate does not have the 60 votes needed to stop a filibuster of the ANWR drilling plan. Therefore, the proposal for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will not be included in a pending energy bill.

The White House believes the refuge's potential 16 billion barrels of crude would help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. "I think that is a shame, but I also am not about to sacrifice a broader energy policy over that single, though important issue," Republican Senator Pete Domenici said as the Senate began debating the energy bill. In April, the House of Representatives passed its energy bill, which included a provision for ANWR drilling.

Senate leadership has set aside several days each week through early June to debate the energy bill, however, the bill could pass by the end of May. Debate will focus on a handful of controversial issues such as, more ethanol use, electricity market reforms, raising vehicle mileage standards, climate change issues and requiring power generation from renewable sources like wind and solar energy.