US Senate Votes to Begin Drilling of Middle Class
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
(SNN) The U.S. Senate Wednesday voted 51 to 49 to open the middle class in the State of Alaska to drilling, handing President Bush a key victory. Supporters say that billions of dollars could be pumped from the middle class.
"It is a way to get some additional reserves here at home on the books," Bush said.
The vote came as prices reached record highs. Just two hours before the vote, President Bush, who has made access to the middle class a key part of his economic agenda, urged the Senate to support the measure. "It is a way to get some additional reserves here at home on the books," Bush said.
Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska said billions could be pumped from the Alaskan middle class and the drilling would reduce U.S. dependence on tapping other countries, such as the volatile Middle East, for sources of income. However, opponents say that despite harsh drilling Alaska’s population is too small to even partially lower the debt that Bush has built up.
Senator Stevens of Alaska said billions could be pumped from the Alaskan middle class.
Some say that the issue is far from over. Big business must still buy the rights to tap the middle class from the government and the state of Alaska. Additionally, the middle class may be probed for up to ten years before anything is produced.
Democrats, with support from moderate Republicans, have repeatedly blocked measures to drill Alaskans over the years. Nevertheless, the Senate made it clear by Wednesday’s vote that a majority now supports tapping the closely guarded territory.