Rep. Richard Pombo, the California Republican who leads the House Resources Committee, introduced the bill late last week. Unlike previous ANWR-drilling bills approved by the House, Pombo's bill has no other provisions. Its sole purpose is to allow oil leasing in ANWR.
Several senators have vowed to filibuster any ANWR-drilling bills, and Alaska's senators have not been able to muster enough votes to shut down those filibusters in recent years. So passage in that half of Congress remains unlikely, according to environmental groups.
The Sierra Club on Wednesday distributed a history of recent failed attempts to approve ANWR drilling in the past decade. "There's a lesson here: The Arctic Refuge isn't for sale," it said.
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