Democrat Ethan Berkowitz, challenging Congressman Don Young for Alaska's seat in the U.S. House, declared in a debate Monday night he'd have a better chance of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling than the 18-term Republican.
"Don's had the chance to do it and hasn't done it. He'll tell you he got it out of the House, but he didn't get it through the president and that's the test of a bill," Berkowitz said in the Anchorage debate.
Berkowitz said the argument for ANWR drilling needs to be about the nation's trade deficit, not just increasing the supply of oil.
Young said he's passed ANWR drilling through the House 10 times. It would be law if Democratic President Bill Clinton had not vetoed it, said Young.
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Young said Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic Speaker of the U.S. House, has a huge hammer "and will not allow the burning or development of fossil fuels."
Young asserted Berkowitz, if elected, would be taking his orders from Pelosi and the Democratic majority in the U.S. House. "The reality is, Ethan, if he was Congressman, would do exactly what she says he will do when it comes to national issues," he said.
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