The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, March 20, 2003  

Sen. Specter and ANWR Drilling

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), who continues to enjoy a wholly undeserved reputation as a "moderate Republican," even as a "liberal Republican," yesterday joined with his right-wing colleagues, as comfortably as ever voting to support opening a portion of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil drilling, an extremist position opposed by even the most moderate of environmentalists.

Yesterday's vote was largely along party lines, though, according to the New York Times, eight Republicans voted against opening this pristine stretch of the Alaskan wilderness to the rampant degradation so eagerly sought by and for the oil industry: Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R.I.), Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.), Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), Sen. Mike DeWine (Ohio), Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (Ill.), Sen. John S. McCain (Ariz.), Sen. Gordon Smith (Ore.), and Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine).

Sen. James Jeffords (I-Vt.) also voted against ANWR drilling.

Five Democrats -- Sen. Daniel Akaka (Hawaii), Sen. John Breaux (La.), Sen. Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), Sen. Mary Landrieu (La.), and, of course, Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.) -- broke ranks and voted in support of the oil industry.

Now, perhaps, with this measure set aside once again, we can have a serious discussion about energy policy in this country. Or is that just expecting too much?

The specter of Specterism: It's haunting Pennsylvania -- and the rest of the nation as well.

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