Senate turns back sweeping oil-drilling amendment

The Senate on Tuesday blocked an amendment to pending transportation legislation that would have mandated a huge expansion of offshore oil-and-gas leasing, opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling and approved construction of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.

Sen. Pat Roberts’s (R-Kan.) amendment, which failed 41-57, would have also extended several energy efficiency and renewable fuels tax incentives and extend a pay freeze for federal workers, among other provisions.

“My amendment addresses the rising cost of gasoline,” said Roberts in support of his amendment prior to the vote. “It cuts red tape, opens up more federal land for oil-and-gas exploration and drilling, it would approve the Keystone XL pipeline and extend renewable tax provisions.”

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