GOP Support For ANWR Drilling May Be Eroding

ANWR drilling supporters unable to get close to 60 votes need to overcome threatened Democratic filibuster.

Published: 08-Mar-2002

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican support for drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (news - web sites) will erode if the issue begins to seriously threaten Senate passage of broader energy legislation, some GOP lawmakers say.

While supporters of such drilling may be able to muster a narrow majority, they have been unable to get close to the 60 votes needed to overcome a certain filibuster by Democrats who have vowed to protect the refuge.

Along with a largely Democratic proposal to require automakers to significantly improve fuel economy, drilling in ANWR, as the refuge is known, is by far the most contentious issue facing senators as they try to craft legislation to direct the nation's energy policy.

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