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A look back at the Senate's opportunities to allow domestic drilling

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Roll Calls on ANWR

A look back at the Senate’s opportunities to allow domestic drilling

With the price of gasoline rising almost daily – and Congress doing nothing about it—it’s time to look back at the roll call votes that prevented drilling in the Alaska Natural Wildlife Refuge over the past few years. Consider the fact that Congress has had more than one opportunity in the past five years to open up ANWR to oil companies, and if they had, the current crisis may never have come about. Although we can’t predict what could have been, we can make a safe guess that our oil supply would be much closer to meeting the current demand level, and we would not be paying over $4 for a gallon of gas.

In March 2003, the Senate voted to strip a pro-drilling provision from a larger budget bill. Five Democrats and eight Republicans crossed party lines to produce the 52-48 vote. The vote count was in doubt to the last hour, when Republican Senator Norm Coleman (Minn.) decided against defecting. Sen. John McCain also joined Coleman. Here is the roll call for that vote:

YEAs – 52

Baucus (D-MT) Dorgan (D-ND) Lincoln (D-AR)
Bayh (D-IN) Durbin (D-IL) McCain (R-AZ)
Biden (D-DE) Edwards (D-NC) Mikulski (D-MD)
Bingaman (D-NM) Feingold (D-WI) Murray (D-WA)
Boxer (D-CA) Feinstein (D-CA) Nelson (D-FL)
Byrd (D-WV) Fitzgerald (R-IL) Nelson (D-NE)
Cantwell (D-WA) Graham (D-FL) Pryor (D-AR)
Carper (D-DE) Harkin (D-IA) Reed (D-RI)
Chafee (R-RI) Hollings (D-SC) Reid (D-NV)
Clinton (D-NY) Jeffords (I-VT) Rockefeller (D-WV)
Coleman (R-MN) Johnson (D-SD) Sarbanes (D-MD)
Collins (R-ME) Kennedy (D-MA) Schumer (D-NY)
Conrad (D-ND) Kerry (D-MA) Smith (R-OR)
Corzine (D-NJ) Kohl (D-WI) Snowe (R-OR)
Daschle (D-SD) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Stabenow (D-MI)
Dayton (D-MN) Leahy (D-VT) Wyden (D-OR)
DeWine (R-OH) Levin (D-MI)  
Dodd (D-CT) Lieberman (D-CT)  

NAYs – 48

Akaka (D-HI) Dole (R-NC) Lugar (R-IN)
Alexander (R-TN) Domenici (R-NM) McConnell (R-KY)
Allard (R-CO) Ensign (R-NV) Miller (D-GA)
Allen (R-VA) Enzi (R-WY) Murkowski (R-AK)
Bennett (R-UT) Frist (R-TN) Nickles (R-OK)
Bond (R-MO) Graham (R-SC) Roberts (R-KS)
Breaux (D-LA) Grassley (R-IA) Santorum (R-PA)
Brownback (R-KS) Gregg (R-NH) Sessions (R-AL)
Bunning (R-KY) Hagel (R-NE) Shelby (R-AL)
Burns (R-MT) Hatch (R-UT) Specter (R-PA)
Campbell (R-CO) Hutchison (R-TX) Stevens (R-AK)
Chambliss (R-GA) Inhofe (R-OK) Sununu (R-NH)
Cochran (R-MS) Inouye (D-HI) Talent (R-MO)
Cornyn (R-TX) Kyl (R-AZ) Thomas (R-WY)
Craig (R-ID) Landrieu (D-LA) Voinovich (R-OH)
Crapo (R-ID) Lott (R-MS) Warner (R-VA)

In November 2003, President George W. Bush and Republican Senate leaders lobbied to have a provision to open up drilling in ANWR in that year’s comprehensive energy bill. The Senate blocked the bill (H.R. 6), voting 57-40 to invoke cloture. Here is the roll call for that vote:

 

YEAs – 57

Alexander (R-TN) Dayton (D-MN) Lott (R-MS)
Allard (R-CO) DeWine (R-OH) Lugar (R-IN)
Allen (R-VA) Dole (R-NC) McConnell (R-KY)
Baucus (D-MT) Domenici (R-NM) Miller (D-GA)
Bennett (R-UT) Dorgan (D-ND) Murkowski (R-AK)
Bond (R-MO) Ensign (R-NV) Nelson (D-NE)
Breaux (D-LA) Enzi (R-WY) Nickles (R-OK)
Brownback (R-KS) Fitzgerald (R-IL) Pryor (D-AR)
Bunning (R-KY) Graham (R-SC) Roberts (R-KS)
Burns (R-MT) Grassley (R-IA) Santorum (R-PA)
Campbell (R-CO) Hagel (R-NE) Sessions (R-AL)
Chambliss (R-GA) Harkin (D-IA) Shelby (R-AL)
Cochran (R-MS) Hatch (R-UT) Smith (R-OR)
Coleman (R-MN) Hutchison (R-TX) Specter (R-PA)
Conrad (D-ND) Inhofe (R-OK) Stevens (R-AK)
Cornyn (R-TX) Johnson (D-SD) Talent (R-MO)
Craig (R-ID) Kyl (R-AZ) Thomas (R-WY)
Crapo (R-ID) Landrieu (D-LA) Voinovich (R-OH)
Daschle (D-SD) Lincoln (D-AR) Warner (R-VA)

 

NAYs – 40

Akaka (D-HI) Feingold (D-WI) Mikulski (D-MD)
Bayh (D-IN) Feinstein (D-CA) Murray (D-WA)
Biden (D-DE) Frist (R-TN) Nelson (D-FL)
Bingaman (D-NM) Graham (D-FL) Reed (D-RI)
Boxer (D-CA) Gregg (R-NH) Reid (D-NV)
Byrd (D-WV) Inouye (D-HI) Rockefeller (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA) Jeffords (I-VT) Sarbanes (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE) Kennedy (D-MA) Schumer (D-NY)
Chafee (R-RI) Kohl (D-WI) Snowe (R-ME)
Clinton (D-NY) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Stabenow (D-MI)
Collins (R-ME) Leahy (D-VT) Sununu (R-NH)
Corzine (D-NJ) Levin (D-MI) Wyden (D-OR)
Dodd (D-CT) Lieberman (D-CT)  
Durbin (D-IL) McCain (R-AZ)  

 

Not Voting – 3

Edwards (D-NC) Hollings (D-SC) Kerry (D-MA)

 

In March 2005, proponents for ANWR drilling experienced success when the Senate defeated an amendment to strike the refuge drilling provision in the proposed 2006 budget. Seven Republicans voted with most Democrats on the Cantwell Amendment. Here is the roll call for that vote:

 

YEAs – 49

Baucus (D-MT) Dorgan (D-ND) Murray (D-WA)
Bayh (D-IN) Durbin (D-IL) Nelson (D-FL)
Biden (D-DE) Feingold (D-WI) Nelson (D-NE)
Bingaman (D-NM) Feinstein (D-CA) Obama (D-IL)
Boxer (D-CA) Harkin (D-IA) Pryor (D-AR)
Byrd (D-WV) Jeffords (I-VT) Reed (D-RI)
Cantwell (D-WA) Johnson (D-SD) Reid (D-NV)
Carper (D-DE) Kennedy (D-MA) Rockefeller (D-WV)
Chafee (R-RI) Kerry (D-MA) Salazar (D-CO)
Clinton (D-NY) Kohl (D-WI) Sarbanes (D-MD)
Coleman (R-MN) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Schumer (D-NY)
Collins (R-ME) Leahy (D-VT) Smith (R-OR)
Conrad (D-ND) Levin (D-MI) Snowe (R-ME)
Corzine (D-NJ) Lieberman (D-CT) Stabenow (D-MI)
Dayton (D-MN) Lincoln (D-AR) Wyden (D-OR)
DeWine (R-OH) McCain (R-AZ)  
Dodd (D-CT) Mikulski (D-MD)  

 

NAYs – 51

Akaka (D-HI) Dole (R-NC) Lugar (R-IN)
Alexander (R-TN) Domenici (R-NM) Martinez (R-FL)
Allard (R-CO) Ensign (R-NV) McConnell (R-KY)
Allen (R-VA) Enzi (R-WY) Murkowski (R-AK)
Bennett (R-UT) Frist (R-TN) Roberts (R-KS)
Bond (R-MO) Graham (R-SC) Santorum (R-PA)
Brownback (R-KS) Grassley (R-IA) Sessions (R-AL)
Bunning (R-KY) Gregg (R-NH) Shelby (R-AL)
Burns (R-MT) Hagel (R-NE) Specter (R-PA)
Burr (R-NC) Hatch (R-UT) Stevens (R-AK)
Chambliss (R-GA) Hutchison (R-TX) Sununu (R-NH)
Coburn (R-OK) Inhofe (R-OK) Talent (R-MO)
Cochran (R-MS) Inouye (D-HI) Thomas (R-WY)
Cornyn (R-TX) Isakson (R-GA) Thune (R-SD)
Craig (R-ID) Kyl (R-AZ) Vitter (R-LA)
Crapo (R-ID) Landrieu (D-LA) Voinovich (R-OH)
DeMint (R-SC) Lott (R-MS) Warner (R-VA)

 

The success was fleeting, however, because before Christmas recession, the Senate once again blocked oil drilling. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) led a successful floor battle that blocked a provision to allow oil drilling in ANWR after Sen. Ted Stevens, a Republican from Alaska, attempted to make drilling for oil in ANWR part of the 2006 Defense Department spending bill. Cantwell led a filibuster and garnered enough votes from both Democrats and Republicans to stop the maneuver and keep ANWR out of the defense bill. Here is the roll call for that vote:

 

YEAs – 56

Akaka (D-HI) Dole (R-NC) McConnell (R-KY)
Alexander (R-TN) Domenici (R-NM) Murkowski (R-AK)
Allard (R-CO) Ensign (R-NV) Nelson (D-NE)
Allen (R-VA) Enzi (R-WY) Roberts (R-KS)
Bennett (R-UT) Graham (R-SC) Santorum (R-PA)
Bond (R-MO) Grassley (R-IA) Sessions (R-AL)
Brownback (R-KS) Gregg (R-NH) Shelby (R-AL)
Bunning (R-KY) Hagel (R-NE) Smith (R-OR)
Burns (R-MT) Hatch (R-UT) Snowe (R-ME)
Burr (R-NC) Hutchison (R-TX) Specter (R-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA) Inhofe (R-OK) Stevens (R-AK)
Coburn (R-OK) Inouye (D-HI) Sununu (R-NH)
Cochran (R-MS) Isakson (R-GA) Talent (R-MO)
Coleman (R-MN) Kyl (R-AZ) Thomas (R-WY)
Collins (R-ME) Landrieu (D-LA) Thune (R-SD)
Cornyn (R-TX) Lott (R-MS) Vitter (R-LA)
Craig (R-ID) Lugar (R-IN) Voinovich (R-OH)
Crapo (R-ID) Martinez (R-FL) Warner (R-VA)
DeMint (R-SC) McCain (R-AZ)  

 

NAYs – 44

Baucus (D-MT) Dorgan (D-ND) Lincoln (D-AR)
Bayh (D-IN) Durbin (D-IL) Mikulski (D-MD)
Biden (D-DE) Feingold (D-WI) Murray (D-WA)
Bingaman (D-NM) Feinstein (D-CA) Nelson (D-FL)
Boxer (D-CA) Frist (R-TN) Obama (D-IL)
Byrd (D-WV) Harkin (D-IA) Pryor (D-AR)
Cantwell (D-WA) Jeffords (I-VT) Reed (D-RI)
Carper (D-DE) Johnson (D-SD) Reid (D-NV)
Chafee (R-RI) Kennedy (D-MA) Rockefeller (D-WV)
Clinton (D-NY) Kerry (D-MA) Salazar (D-CO)
Conrad (D-ND) Kohl (D-WI) Sarbanes (D-MD)
Corzine (D-NJ) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Schumer (D-NY)
Dayton (D-NJ) Leahy (D-VT) Stabenow (D-MI)
DeWine (R-OH) Levin (D-MI) Wyden (D-OR)
Dodd (D-CT) Lieberman (D-CT)  

And now, the Dems – and some Republicans – are still lined up against drilling in ANWR. Will they get the message when a gallon of gas hits $5 in price?

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Written By

Cassandra Kane is a HUMAN EVENTS intern. She is a senior at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pa., studying English and political science.

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