April 13,2000

Roth Declares Victory for Caribou and Misk Oxen

Provision Opening Arctic Refuge to Drilling Dropped From Budget Resolution

WASHINGTON -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) today cheered the victory of "the permanent protection of wilderness over a temporary energy fix," as the conference report on the Budget Resolution was returned without a provision that would have opened Alaska's Arctic Refuge to drilling for oil and gas.

Roth has fought to protect this pristine region of the Arctic for more than a decade. His amendment to protect this area narrowly failed on the Senate floor last week, and the Senate version of the budget resolution included reciepts from leasing the Coastal Plain for oil and gas development. The final Senate-House compromise version of the bill, hammered out in the past few days, dropped the offending language.

"I applaud the budget conferees. They made the right choice. We should not have to learn the hard way again that once a wilderness area is gone, it is gone forever. There are better ways to address our energy challenges than a fix that is temporary, but has permanent collateral damage," Roth stated.