US senate blocks Alaska oil drilling, proposes regional power grids

Prospects for opening the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil drilling suffered a further blow in March as the US senate voted narrowly to block what is a key part of President Bush’s energy plan.

The senate voted 52-48 against the move to develop oil in the refuge in northeastern Alaska on the grounds that drilling would cause significant environmental damage to the area.

The proposal will no longer be included in the long-delayed national energy bill, which is expected to be considere