"Senate opponents of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge hope to convince their colleagues over the next few weeks that energy development there threatens America's entire wildlife refuge system, primarily for the sake of alleviating Alaska's fiscal crisis.
'What's next?' Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington asked during a press conference last week. 'What other wildlife refuge in America are we going to mandate drilling in?'
Cantwell is the top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and is leading the charge against drilling in ANWR's 1.5-million-acre coastal plain. She told reporters she wants lawmakers to know their states could be next on that list.
Another key element of Cantwell's strategy is underscoring the potential economic rewards for Alaska rather than the entire country if energy development in the 1002 area is allowed."