The Senate has voted to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration. The portion that will be open to drilling (assuming the Senate approves its budget and the House goes along) is a largely barren coastal section about the size of a regional airport in a refuge the size of the state of South Carolina. Drilling will occur only in the winter, when the place is frozen solid, using sophisticated technology that will scarcely leave a footprint come spring, when the single caribou herd that grazes in the refuge comes calling.
The vote was 51-49.
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