Stevens Puts Alaska Pork Above Defense Appropriation

REP, the national grassroots organization of Republicans for Environmental Protection, condemns the apparently successful attempt of Senator Ted Stevens to attach Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling authorization to the defense appropriations bill and urges Republican senators to reject his effort to advance a parochial interest at the expense of our military.

“First, Senator Stevens jeopardized the federal budget with this pet project and now he has jeopardized funding for our troops. This is a sad day for our Republican Party,” said David Jenkins, Government Affairs Director for REP. “If Senator Stevens thinks that oil industry profits and Alaska pork is more important than supporting our troops, then he deserves all of the blame for the consequences of this selfish gambit,” Jenkins added.

Stevens is grasping at straws to push the drilling scheme past the resolute opposition of two dozen House Republicans who have reiterated their vow to vote against budget legislation that would open the Arctic Refuge to drilling. There is nothing conservative about Stevens’ special interest driven machinations.

“Those two dozen House Republicans exemplify the conservative values of conservation and prudence,” said REP Policy Director Jim DiPeso. “They are principled leaders who understand the implications of sacrificing a national treasure in a vain attempt to feed a dangerous oil habit. They know that America holds only 2 percent of global oil reserves and will not find energy security or lower energy prices by depleting our remaining scant oil reserves as fast as possible,” DiPeso added.

REP opposes oil development in the Arctic Refuge because it will forever diminish the last remaining wild and undeveloped section of Alaska’s Arctic coast, which was set aside for its scenic and wildlife habitat value by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. REP also believes that America needs to quit pinning the nation’s energy hopes on the false promise of Arctic drilling, which will delay meaningful progress and perpetuate our nation’s dangerous oil dependence.

REP believes that it is both prudent and conservative to focus on lasting energy solutions, including greater efficiency, less dependence on oil, and diversification of our energy choices.

By Jim DiPeso

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