Republican News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski today stressed the bipartisan and ideological support behind the push for oil and gas exploration in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Murkowski said there is bipartisan support for reducing America's reliance on foreign oil. "We've got a million barrels of oil a day coming into this country from Iraq, a country we're basically at war with," Murkowski said. "This is going to be the debate in the United States Senate about ANWR. It's going to be a debate on doing what's right for America." Murkowski made his remarks at a Capitol Hill press conference in the company of a bipartisan group of Senators and two of the nation's top business and labor leaders. Joining Murkowski were Republicans Rick Santorum and Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Democrat John Breaux of Louisiana. Also attending were Jerry Jasinowski, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, and Teamsters Union President James Hoffa. Sen. Breaux said he thinks some Democrats remain open to persuasion."I've talked to a number of my Democratic colleagues who have indicated that they are still uncertain as to how they would vote," Breaux said. "I think the message today to those that are still in doubt, who are still looking at it, is to look at the facts, look where it's been done before, and make a decision. If not there, on the desolate coastal plain of northern Alaska, then where?" Teamsters Union President James Hoffa said organized labor will be pushing hard in the Senate for ANWR. "The Teamsters Union strongly supports opening ANWR to drilling. The working families of America deserve the hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs that will come out of this opening," Hoffa said. "We understand that some of our friends in the Senate have already publicly declared their opposition to ANWR. But today we ask them to support us and we ask for a fair, up-and-down vote. We ask them to vote for cloture at least. "We cannot allow the tyranny of a few to stop us from having a comprehensive energy plan," Hoffa said. ###