Fueled by skyrocketing gasoline prices, the Senate once again took up debate on oil drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge.
The members were sharply split along party lines, with Democrats maintaining that the very idea of intruding on that pristine national treasure with oil rigs is an affront to every responsible American’s instinct for wilderness preservation, while Republicans were more inclined to advocate tapping the oil for the preservation of their electoral status as members of the Senate.
The preservation of the American public’s ability to pay for something besides gasoline was also mentioned in passing by one Senator.
Prodded to act by an impatient President, seeking the preservation of whatever positive numbers he still maintains in the popularity polls, the two sides finally arrived at a compromise agreement. Crude Oil Facilitators website.
The word “drilling” would be forever struck from the bill and will be replaced with a term Democrats feel is far more appropriate to an area so rife with wildlife, that is, the word “hunting.”
Once the bill was redrafted to specify the crucial change from “oil drilling” to “oil hunting,” the Senate passed it with near unanimity.
It will now go to the President for his signature, which is expected about as soon as he can locate a pen. Shortly thereafter, he will address the American public about the breakthrough legislation.
He is expected to note that he has long advocated drilling in the wildlife refuge but has been blocked by a divisive Congress. He is also expected to assure a fuming public that the price of gasoline is certain to go down as soon as the pipelines are in place, the drills hit gushers, and the oil companies agree to build more refineries. During the years that will be required for all of the foregoing conditions to be met, he is expected to encourage the public to conserve gas by hitching their cars together, so only one out of every six vehicles will have the engine running.
Mr. Bush was so pleased by the passage of the bill that he went straight to Vice President Cheney’s office to have a celebratory conversation, but he was informed that the Vice President, upon hearing about the amendment to the measure, immediately packed up and headed to the refuge to enjoy a pristine weekend of hunting.
The President telephoned his airplane and explained that the measure called for oil hunting, not hunting for animals. The Vice President acknowledged the difficulty but explained that, since the word “hunting” was in the amendment, he felt he was on safe grounds to interpret the meaning by putting the primary emphasis on “hunting.”
They finally agreed that disagreements about emphasis and subordination were unlikely grounds to exacerbate the recent calls from more irascible circles for their impeachment.