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Statement on Senate Vote to Block Oil Drilling in the Arctic Refuge

Location: Unknown

Winning is gratifying, but it's time we fought for progress instead of having to spend our energy defeating the same tired, dead-end agenda. Americans deserve better than this from their leaders. Drilling in the Arctic Refuge is not sound environmental policy and is a terrible excuse for energy policy.

The Bush Administration keeps trying to persuade the American people that all of our energy problems will be solved if we would just drill in the Refuge. They refuse to acknowledge that God only gave the United States 3 percent of the world's oil. The Middle East has about 65 percent. Any child can do the math and figure out that a 2 percent difference in oil production for the destruction of the wilderness does not solve America's energy problem. We can't drill our way to energy independence; we have to invent our way there.

We cannot continue to rely on the energy policies of the past. It is only by developing technologies that advance our energy, environmental, and economic needs that we will truly free ourselves from our dependence on foreign oil. We must invest in domestic, renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, ethanol, and biomass. These are under our control and not subject to embargoes of foreign governments. They cannot be seized by terrorists. Cartels cannot play games with them. And no American soldier will have to put his or her life in harms way to protect them.

Today's vote by the Senate to block the Bush Administration from opening the Refuge to oil drilling was the right one, but it may not be the last. The Administration brought this plan to the United States Senate last year. We stopped them then, just as we stopped them today. But if their record is any guide, they will try again. I pledge that we will stop them again.

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