Republicans have cynically attached a provision to the defense spending bill that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling… and Sen. Maria Cantwell is threatening to filibuster.
Sen. Maria Cantwell vowed Monday to keep the Senate in session until the brink of Christmas to defeat legislation that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.
“If this language is allowed to stand, one of our nation’s most pristine wildlife areas will be lost,” Cantwell, a Democrat said as she outlined plans by her party and its allies to defeat language offered by Alaska Republican Ted Stevens to open ANWR.
“This is nothing more than a sweetheart deal for Alaska and the oil companies,” Cantwell said. “That’s why I am prepared to use every procedural option available to me as a senator to prevent this language from moving forward.”
Hmm. Alaska’s nutcase Senator Ted Stevens may end up ruing the day he turned Sen. Cantwell into an enemy, for in so doing he not only gave her a visible issue popular with WA voters, he also gave her a real life villain to oppose. I know people who worked with Sen. Cantwell at Real Networks, and whatever she lacks in terms of retail politics, she more than makes up for in tenaciousness.
Cantwell said she’s willing to challenge Stevens, who is widely regarded as one of the fiercest fighters in the chamber.
“Senator Stevens says he’s not holding up the process, but he is,” Cantwell said. “He knows very well that we could all go home today. We could pass these outstanding pieces of legislation regarding defense and other things and be gone. But he wants to stay here. If he wants to stay here, then we’ll stay here to fight.”
I think it’s gonna be one helluva fight. And my money’s on Cantwell.