Republicans will be backing off their support for opening up Alaska drilling to show their support for presumed presidental candidate John McCain. The GOP has been capitalizing on the growing U.S. support for energy independence and offshore drilling following the recent run-up in oil prices, trying to shift national support to overthrow bans on traditionally forbidden zones such as Alaska's ANWAR province. However, McCain, who while supports increased offshore oil and gas development in most areas, opposes the opening of the Alaskan preserve for E&P. With that in mind, many Republicans are taking a breather on their E&P ambitions and instead are throwing in their lot with McCain, seeing him as the candidate that will at least get the foot of the expanded offshore drilling issue in the door. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have both recently been vocal about opening offshore drilling, but the GOP remains firm that McCain's policies are the better of the two. So, it looks like ANWAR is going to dodge a bullet again, though who's telling how long that may last if we get $150 oil again next summer. –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week;;