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E-M:/ Abraham Defeat Attributed to Oil Drilling in Alaska

Enviro-Mich message from "Daniel Farough" <daniel.farough@sierraclub.org>

Hi all,

Below is an Article by Mary Pemberton of the Associated Press.  The article
quotes Sen. Ted Stevens as attributing Abraham's defeat to his position on
drilling the Artic National Wildlife Refuge.  This is another tribute to the
Michigan environmental community that worked so hard to hold Abraham
accountable for his abysmal environmental record.  The New York Times on Nov
11 also ran a story in which John Truscott attributed the enviro community
as a major factor in Abraham's demise.


By Mary Pemberton
The Associated Press

(Published January 3, 2001)
Alaska Sens. Ted Stevens and Frank Murkowski said President-elect George W.
Bush's choice of Spencer Abraham for energy secretary will do good things
for Alaska.
"He is a great selection," said Stevens, chairman of the Senate
Appropriations Committee. "I think we have a person with a different
Stevens said he visited Michigan to campaign for his Republican colleague
during Abraham's unsuccessful run for re-election in November. Abraham lost
narrowly to U.S. Rep. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat.
Abraham's position favoring oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge cost him the election, Stevens said.
"It did him in," he said.
Bush, a former Texas oilman, has said opening the arctic refuge in Alaska's
northeast corner to oil development would be a major part of his energy
strategy. He has argued that drilling can be conducted without harming the
refuge's ecosystem or wildlife. The Clinton administration has opposed
drilling in the refuge.
The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that the refuge's coastal plain
hold about 11 billion barrels of oil, about as much as the Prudhoe Bay
50 miles to the west.
Murkowski, R-Alaska, also praised Bush's pick for energy.
"Senator Spencer Abraham will make a great secretary of energy," said
Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural
Murkowski has said enacting drilling legislation will be one of the first
bills he will try to move in the next session of Congress.
Bush's selection of Abraham will not result in good energy policy, said
Allen E. Smith, Alaska regional director for the Washington, D.C.-based
Wilderness Society, which has lobbied hard against drilling in ANWR.
"It is impossible to drill your way out of a problem," Smith said. "We
should seek an energy policy that relies on conservation, efficiency,
alternatives and renewables."
The Sierra Club said Abraham has an "abysmal" environmental record.
"Picking Senator Abraham is a pathetic response to America's energy
problems," Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope said in a statement.
The conservation group said Abraham cosponsored two bills that would allow
drilling in ANWR and led the Senate's efforts to prevent the Clinton
administration from increasing fuel economy in cars and light trucks.

Dan Farough
Sierra Club
Environmental Public Education Campaign Coordinator
Member Involvement Director
109 East Grand River Ave.
Lansing, MI 48906
(517) 484-2372 phone
(517) 484-3108 fax

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