On March 16, 2005, the US Senate voted 51-49 to maintain an amendment that would have allowed oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. President George W. Bush had pushed for allowing the drilling throughout his presidency, arguing that tapping the reserve's oil was critical to the nation's energy security and would have reduced US reliance on oil imports. Environmentalists rebutted that pipelines and drilling platforms will harm the refuge's wildlife. President Barack Obama reversed Bush's drilling policy after taking office in 2009.
Learn more about regulations on oil drilling and environmental law from the JURIST news archives.