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Stevens Announces He Will Not Pursue Cherry Point Legislation


March 02, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC - Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) today went to the Senate floor to announce that he will not pursue S. 1977, a bill that repeals Section 5 of the 1977 reauthorization of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.  S. 1977 would ensure that the Cherry Point refinery in Washington State can continue to receive deliveries of crude oil and maintain its current capacity.



According to Stevens upon its introduction, the bill was met with press releases deliberately mischaracterizing its intent and effect.  These releases claimed the bill would increase tanker traffic and the size of tankers allowed in Puget Sound.  The bill did not raise either of these issues, and Stevens continued to advocate for its passage because it would address Western States' concerns about the impact of high energy prices and limited fuel supply. 
Stevens decided not to pursue this legislation after corresponding privately with individuals who live in Washington State.  He told his Senate colleagues, "I have never in my 38 years in the Senate asked to have any bill I introduced be permanently postponed, but that is my intention now.  For years, I fought for Alaska's right to determine our state's future and develop our own energy resources, particularly on the Arctic Coastal Plain.  I defer to this policy now because I believe the people of Washington ought to make this decision.  It a decision that will have to be made, but based on private conversations and a private letter I received, I yield to the concerns of Washingtonians on this matter."
Stevens concluded his remarks by telling his colleagues, "I still believe it is the right policy, but I respect the rights of those who live in Washington State to make the decision when that policy should be pursued.  Consistent with my own personal philosophy, I ask that the leadership find a way to permanently postpone consideration of S. 1977."

Source of News:

Office of Sen. Ted Stevens


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