House of Reps to strike oil bill

by Alice Gomstyn | 7/19/01 5:00am

In a move sure to incite ire in environmentalists across the nation, the House Resources Committee voted Tuesday to strike down a Democratic amendment banning oil drilling in the Arctic wildlife refuge.

By defeating the amendment, the committee effectively endorsed the drilling plan that President Bush has advocated since his election campaign. The oil drilling provision is part of a larger White House-backed energy package set to come under consideration by the full House in the next few weeks.

In the White House itself, however, oil-drilling may have taken a back seat to immigration this week. Presidential advisers are reportedly discussing plans to grant over three million illegal Mexican immigrants currently living in the United States the opportunity to earn permanent legal residency.

The proposal is part of a plan on border safety and immigration drafted by a panel led by Secretary of State Colin Powell and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Although many of the details of the proposal have yet to be resolved, according to The New York Times, aides to both Bush and Mexican President Vincente Fox hope to announce a major migration initiative at their summit meeting this September.

For now, however, Bush shifted his focus from Mexico to the countries of Europe. The President arrived in England yesterday, marking the beginning of six-day tour, during which he is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Tony Blair, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pope John Paul II, before sitting down with a number of international leaders at a Group of Eight summit in Genoa, Italy.

Issues expected to be raised at the various meetings include the Kyoto Protocol -- an international environmental pact rejected by the Bush administration -- and the United States' development of a national missile defense system.

The U.S. military boasted a significant step forward in its development of National Missle Defense last week, when a prototype interceptor fired from the Marshall Islands at a dummy warhead over the Pacific Ocean hit its target.The successful interception was the first since October 1999. The fledgling system undertook two more interception attempts in the past year and a half, but both tests proved unsuccessful.

Congressman Gary Condit, D-CA, scored well on his latest test: the California congressman took and passed a lie-detector test last week following allegations that he may have had something to do with the disappearance of former Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy.

Despite having answered the test's three questions regarding Levy's disappearance with what a polygraph deemed to be honest responses, Condit has received criticism for electing to take the test on his own with a private administrator rather than allowing for police supervision of the examination.