Anwr timeline Congress has struggled for decades with the fate of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in northeastern Alaska: 1960...

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ANWR timeline


Congress has struggled for decades with the fate of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in northeastern Alaska:


1960: President Eisenhower declares that 8.9 million acres of tundra and mountains in the northeastern corner of Alaska be set aside as a protected wildlife refuge.


1980: Congress expands the refuge to 19 million acres and declares part of it wilderness. It also proclaims that potential oil reserves in the refuge’s 1.5-million-acre coastal plain be considered for development, but only if Congress specifically authorizes it.


1995: Congress, using the budget process, authorizes oil drilling in the coastal plain, but President Clinton vetoes it.


2002-03: The House repeatedly approves drilling in the refuge as part of broad energy legislation, but the Senate rejects drilling, unable to overcome a Democratic-led filibuster.


November 2004: Republicans gain four seats in the Senate, expanding their majority to 55. ANWR drilling advocates predict the increased GOP strength will help to open the refuge to oil development.


March 2005: The Senate inserts into the budget a revenue provision that anticipates oil-lease sales in ANWR. A Democratic-led attempt to strip the provision from the budget measure falls short, 49-51. The budget document becomes a vehicle for authorizing ANWR oil drilling.


The Associated Press