First she allowed two lobbyists for big energy companies to essentially write the "Dirty Air Act" she introduced to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its ability to regulate global warming pollution. Now, via The Hill, it appears that she's named her price for supporting a clean energy and climate bill: drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
You heard right: in order to secure her support for the bipartisan bill being drafted by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to cut global warming pollution, Murkowski would require that we drill for oil in a national wildlife refuge.
A quick rundown of why years of lobbying from Big Oil companies have failed to convince Congress to open ANWR to drilling, even during the GOP-controlled early 2000s:
• There’s so little oil in ANWR that drilling there would only reduce gas prices by a penny or two.
• That wouldn’t even happen until 2025 or 2030, because it takes that long to set up oil facilities all the way up there in the Arctic Circle.
• Drilling in the middle of a wildlife refuge is so unpopular, even the Republican Party’s standard-bearer John McCain opposed ANWR drilling in the 2008 election – the year of “Drill, baby, drill!”
The idea of drilling in ANWR has been effectively dead since Democrats regained control of Congress in 2006 and McCain opposed the idea during his 2008 run. To give an idea of how absurd Murkowski's attempt to revive this fossil of an idea is at this point, it would be like offering to support healthcare reform legislation in exchange for Congress officially recognizing bloodletting and exorcisms as accepted medical procedures.
Which begs the question: where does she get this stuff? Well, given that lobbyists essentially wrote the Dirty Air Act for her, they know where to turn for special interest handouts. Maybe they mentioned it during the recent fundraiser they held for Murkowski at the posh Caucus Room restaurant in downtown DC?