Budget vote Saturday would see oil development in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
The Senate has given a green light to opening Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.
In a vote early Saturday morning, Republicans rejected an effort led by Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state to block drilling.
The vote was 52-48. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has pushed for oil and gas drilling in the refuge.
Opening the remote refuge to oil and gas drilling is a longtime Republican priority that most Democrats fiercely oppose.
The 19.6-million acre refuge in northeastern Alaska is one of the most pristine areas in the United States and is home to polar bears, caribou, migratory birds and other wildlife.