By Request: ANWR Compromise

MikeS asks:

Under what circumstances would you support offshore oil drilling or drilling in ANWR? Is there a compromise position -- oil companies promise to follow certain environmental restrictions/expanded funding for public transportation/windfall taxes -- where you feel that giving oil companies access to explore and drill in these areas would be worth it?

I don't think there's a "compromise" on these topics that I'd support. What would be worth supporting, by contrast, is a logroll. If something resembling Barack Obama's climate change plan were poised to pass the congress but needed the votes of two additional Senators to clear a filibuster, and giving way on ANWR would get the Alaska Senators on board, then, sure, you strike the deal. In practice, I think offshore drilling would be a net loser of legislative votes in this context, since it's an issue whose opponents (representatives from coastal areas) care more about than do its proponents. Plenty of Republicans with middling-to-terrible environmental records are against offshore drilling. ANWR is probably the reverse -- a big deal in Alaska, where people tend to favor it, and not a big deal elsewhere -- so in theory one could imagine a deal.