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So, Pombo's Just Joking Around?


    So, it's all a big joke, is it?
    At least that's one of the lines being spun by Brian Kennedy, the spokesman for the House Resources Committee that has drafted legislation to, among other things, sell off 15 national park service units. Kennedy told the Anchorage Daily News the legislation was intended to show what might have to be done if Congress doesn't allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
    You see, by opening up drilling in the wildlife refuge, the government could generate billions of dollars in revenues. At least that's what Kennedy says, and Rep. Richard Pombo, who chairs the House Resources Committee, can't wait to see drill bits biting into ANWR.
    To put things in perspective, according to Kennedy, the committee wanted to demonstrate, through the draft legislation, what "outrageous and absurd alternatives" the government would have to resort to if ANWR isn't opened up to drilling.
    "So you see the joke," he told the Anchorage paper.
    Well, not too many folks are laughing. In fact, a spokeswoman for Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, where Pombo's committee has tagged seven national park units for sale, says her boss "won't be going along with that."
    If Pombo is really serious about looking for money, as I pointed out the other day he should look no further than the federal highway bill Congress passed. It has $24 billion worth of pork that could be trimmed to help the government keep paying its bills.

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