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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said the Senate lost its chance to lower gas prices, improve the balance of trade and strengthen national security today by passing an amendment that would thwart oil exploration in Alaska.

An amendment offered by Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to the Senate budget resolution to prevent the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas exploration passed the Senate today by a vote of 52-48.

Enzi was disappointed with the outcome of the vote.

"Today, misrepresentations of the realities of ANWR won over reason and our ability to provide a reliable, domestic oil supply; and in light of current events, finding additional sources of oil is very important or we run the risk of supply disruptions and huge spikes in gasoline prices.

"ANWR is the best known onshore production site we have, and opening it to drilling would have helped reduce our nation's reliance on foreign oil. This would also be done in a responsible manner with the utmost care taken to protect the environment.

"Opponents of tapping this resource displayed pictures and video of beautiful scenic lands that are not part of the area where exploration is being proposed. This is a blatant attempt to lead people away from reality.

"As long as we have planes, trains and automobiles powered by oil and gas, we will need a dependable source of fuel to keep them running. Opposing oil exploration in ANWR limits that ability."