Saturday open thread for night owls: 12 GOPers break ranks on Arctic Nat’l Wildlife Refuge drilling

Saturday open thread for night owls: 12 GOPers break ranks on Arctic Nat’l Wildlife Refuge drilling

Sabrina Shankman at InsideClimate News writes—12 House Republicans Urge Congress to Cut ANWR Oil Drilling from Tax Bill:

A group of 12 Congressional Republicans sent a letter to the leaders of both houses of Congress Thursday, objecting to a provision in the tax bill that would allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

“For decades, Congress has voted to prohibit oil and gas development in the refuge, with the overwhelming support of the American public,” the group wrote. “Support for this protection remains strong today. After years of debate, the Arctic refuge stands as a symbol of our nation’s strong and enduring natural legacy.”

The letter was sent as the Senate was poised to pass a massive—and controversial—tax overhaul, which has seen fierce opposition from Democrats. The House passed its own version of the tax bill in November, and the two versions will now have to be reconciled. Tucked into both bills is a provision that would allow for the opening of a 1.5 million-acre section of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling. The justification for its inclusion in the tax bill is that profits from any oil and gas development would help offset a budget deficit.

This part of the refuge, known as the coastal plain, occupies murky legal territory and has been fought over for decades. While the majority of the 19 million-acre refuge has been designated as wilderness area—and is permanently off limits to drilling—the coastal plain has occupied a middle ground. It is not currently open to drilling, but an act of Congress could reverse that. […]

The letter opposing drilling was signed by Republican Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (Penn.), Dave Reichert (Wash.), Ryan Costello (Penn.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), Chris Smith (N.J.), Patrick Meehan (Penn.), Daniel M. Donovan, Jr. (N.Y.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Mark Sanford (S.C.), Carlos Curbelo (Fla.), John J. Faso (N.Y.) and Leonard Lance (N.J.).  […]

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TWEET OF THE DAY

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On this day in 1859, John Brown was executed. His last words were: “I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.” On this and so many other questions, in the words of W.E.B. Du Bois, “John Brown was right.” pic.twitter.com/S2YBBdO7Wg

— George Ciccariello (@ciccmaher) December 2, 2017

BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2002—The Bush Administration is out of control:

Bush is enraged that—get this—UN weapons inspectors are not finding any hidden weapons.

The lack of a confrontation thus far between Iraq and inspectors has the White House worried that the Iraqi president might be winning the early public relations battle by creating an impression that he is complying. Aides said those fears prompted the president and Vice President Dick Cheney (news-web sites) to deliver separate speeches Monday casting doubt on Saddam’s intentions.

How about this—if the Bush Administration has proof that Iraq is hiding weapons of mass destruction, then release this evidence! Otherwise, shut up. It’s telling that the best the Bushies can do is whine.

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