Thursday, December 22, 2005

ANWR Needs Reparations

Alaska Senator Stevens Should Unite With the Congressional Black Caucus

The 2005 defeats of all Congressional attempts to approve drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) should move Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) to attach reparations provisions to future legislation. Stevens shook the Senate to its foundation by using inventive legislative maneuvers to attach ANWR drilling to budget reconciliation and military spending. Stevens still came up 4 votes short of invoking Cloture (limiting debate, which would have essentially passed the measure). Stevens even had provisions in the bill to help the poor with their heating bills and Hurricane Katrina victims. ANWR drilling lost earlier in the year when it was taken out of the energy bill, which finally passed after years of failures.

ANWR should be a reparation to all Blacks willing to accept 40 acres and a caribou. Stevens should sponsor legislation stating that drilling can only occur in the event that ANWR is transferred to any Black or Blacks willing to accept the Sherman Special Field Order #15. Individuals or groups of Blacks would then be free to negotiate with Native Alaskans, oil companies or conservationists for the future use of the land. This action would not preclude the federal government from privatizing additional public lands as reparations.

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