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Senate votes to open Alaska wildlife refuge to oil drilling

[JURIST] The US Senate voted 51-49 [Senate roll call] Wednesday afternoon to allow oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [official website]. The Senate defeated an amendment [amendment summary] that would have removed the refuge drilling provision from next year's budget. The provision will be included in the budget when Congress goes to vote on it later this year. President Bush has said that tapping the reserve's oil is critical to the nation's energy security and will reduce US reliance on oil imports. Environmentalists say that pipelines and drilling platforms will harm the refuge's wildlife. AP has more.

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