George Bush has proposed drilling in a tiny, desolate portion of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or "ANWR." According a leading Democratic opponent of the plan, lying is the key to defeating ANWR.
ABC-NBC-CBS have been accompanying discussions of ANWR with picturesque footage of caribou frolicking in lush, fertile fields --- all of which happens to be nowhere near the site of the proposed drilling. ANWR is 19 million acres -- larger than Massachusetts, New Jersey, Hawaii, Connecticut and Delaware combined. If oil is found, less than 2,000 acres would be directly affected. The area targeted for drilling looks a little like the moon, but less inviting.
Consequently, Gale Norton, the secretary of the interior, responded to the campaign of lies by unveiling actual film footage of the area at issue. She sent a true and accurate film of the proposed drilling site to the networks and also posted the footage on the department's Web site (www.doi.gov).
Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts (D, needless to say) claims this underhanded dissemination of the truth is illegal. Telling the truth is not merely contrary to the principles of the Democratic Party, now it's a violation of law. As Markey explains, the law prohibits agencies from promoting any "film presentation designed to support or defeat legislation pending before the Congress."
It was bad enough when Democrats just lied a lot themselves, purported not to know what "is" means, and claimed that "everybody" lied, perjured themselves and suborned the perjury of others. Markey has staked out a more aggressive position by announcing that Republicans who tell the truth are breaking the law.
At least we have Markey on the record admitting that a truthful video of the proposed drilling site in ANWR would persuade Congress to support drilling.
ANWR exploration is overwhelmingly supported by Alaskans, Eskimos, Teamsters and caribou. It is opposed by Northeastern liberals who would never set foot anyplace near ANWR, and haven't the first idea what it looks like.
The word "wildlife" in ANWR's title, for example, is somewhat misleading. The coastal plain -- where the drilling would occur -- is in total darkness half the year and reaches temperatures of 50 below. Most of the year it is uninhabited and uninhabitable by wildlife. Indeed, the only living things in the vicinity of the coastal plain -- Eskimos and caribou -- enthusiastically support drilling.
When oil exploration began in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay 30 years ago, environmentalists claimed it would yield only a "few months' supply" of oil and would wreck the ecosystem. Prudhoe Bay turned out to be the largest deposit of oil ever found in North America. Caribou frolic and play by the pipeline. In 20 years, the caribou population has skyrocketed, from 3,000 to almost 27,100.
The Teamsters have been huge supporters of drilling in ANWR, but Democrats treat union members like they treat the blacks. They expect union money and endorsements, but when the prospect of half a million high-paying jobs comes along, the Democrats tell workers it's only "one issue."
Ed "The Truth Is Illegal" Markey responded to Teamster support for ANWR by dismissively sniffing, it was only "one issue." Luckily, the Democrats have all those other issues dear to the heart of the average blue collar worker: abortion on demand, gay marriage and taxpayer-funded crucifixes submerged in urine.
So much for "everyone" sacrificing for the war on terrorism. Little old ladies get strip-searched at airports, but the environmentalists won't budge on an uninhabitable wasteland at the continent's edge. The Democrats' idea of sacrifice is for Sen. Teddy Kennedy to stop getting drunk and groping stewardesses.
When not jetting around the country on his private plane, paid for by the deceased husband of his second wife, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., has emerged as a leading opponent of ANWR. Developing new sources of energy, Kerry says, is "old thinking." The Democrats' innovative new idea is for the little people to wear sweaters and drive smaller cars.
That's a bold stroke: We'll delay starvation by eating a little less every day. The illogic of it confounds reason. Everyone is against waste -- except Northeastern liberals telling the rest of us to conserve. (How about they practice by conserving our money?) We need more energy. Postponing death is not an energy policy.
Markey has similarly "innovative" ideas. He proposes that we "bring OPEC to its knees" by "our technological superiority." What he means by "technological superiority" is this: "Let's make SUVs get 30 miles a gallon"! How about we make cars and airplanes that run on grass? Or hot air, and run a pipeline from the Capitol?
There is not a thinking man's Democrat in the country. If only caribou voted instead of Democrats, the country would finally have a serious energy policy.