The Senate recently rejected an energy amendment that would have opened a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and natural gas exploration. One senator tried to attach the House passed energy bill to the Defense Authorization bill to avoid additional debate. The House version of the energy bill includes a provision to open the North Slope of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

The Senate acknowledged this is not the time to debate controversial energy policies, including drilling in the ANWR. In a unanimous vote the Senate said it would be inappropriate to exploit the tragedy our nation faces for personal political agendas or divisive issues. Our country must focus our attention now on issues of national security and personal safety.