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Urgent: Action Needed for Arctic Refuge

November 18, 2004 | Environment / Take Action

The Bush administration is once again pushing to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Evidence of its efforts are expected early in the 109th Congress, when legislators might work through several angles, inserting drilling provisions into the budget bill as well as into the energy bill.

The reasons to preserve the Arctic Refuge have not changed since the 108th Congress did so. In important ways, this pristine land does not just belong to us. It provides a home for more than 200 species of birds and animals including Tundra swans, caribou, polar bears, grizzly bears and wolves. It belongs to all of them, and to the world.

Moreover, drilling will not significantly lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil. The oil of the Arctic Refuge would not be available for another 10 years, and would provide only a 6-month supply.

Congress must hear from its constituents if we are to save the Arctic Refuge.

Please contact your Senators and Congressional Representatives and ask them to actively oppose any and all attempts to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling and exploration.

It is especially helpful to visit the state offices of your Senator or Representatives. If you are able to do this, contact Bill Dollinger in our Washington DC office, at (202) 296-2172.

You can locate your Senators and Representatives at

The Honorable ____________________________
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Congressional Switchboard 202-224-3121

The Honorable ____________________________
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Congressional Switchboard 202-224-3121


What is the point of distroying natural land for only six months of oil. Then distroying the artic land. Our homes are not being distroyed by someone. Why should we be distroying the animal's territory. I may only be young but I still seem to have some common sense when it comes to the environment. I wish I could make more of a difference. -Haley

Boy, you guys that want to stop drilling are right on. Of course I know none of you drive or take public transportation, nor do you ride bikes because all of those modes of travel are reliant on fossil fuels, either to run the machine or build the machine. I guess you all walk. Better not wear shoes or even clothing as that takes energy to make, and heaven forbid if any of your shoes or boots would also have leather. Let's just go back to the first century BC; no that won't work either because those folks hunted and ate meat....hmmmm.

Sheldon's argument above is a classic example of a “false dilemma” —either we must drill every square inch of the planet in a search for oil, or not use any oil products. But there are plenty of reasonable alternatives including leaving wildlife refuges as wildlife refuges, and thereby saving the last pristine wilderness left in the United States. Additional alternatives would include reducing our dependence on dwindling fuel sources that are a major cause of environmental destruction.

My only opinion is that people need alterate means of energy, clean ones. The Gov't. needs to put more money into that and preserving wht little pristine areas we have left. The world cannot live without trees. Trees=Air.

I believe that drilling for oil in such a beautiful place that is home to many animals is so wrong. If it is so necissary then so be it but lie and say that you won't hurt anything in the refuge. You dnow that with drilling you are going to cause some ecological screw ups. So do it, just don't lie about what you're doing to try and make it seem better.

I am a young teen Alaskan...true alaskan. I lived here all my life. I think drilling into the ground for oil is wrong. I guess u guys just want to make more money for our dividents. Welll if that where our money comes from. Let those forgein people come here to get enough money then move out. This is harming the wildlife and we gotta learn how to live more old fashion that distroying our world. You guys are thinkin that it will be better but u guys are jsut makin it worst. Anny Matson

To all the people that are reading papers on drilling in ANWR should just go up there and look. When I first went up there in 1979 there wasn't much and then when it got started you could see Caribou all the time. The heard has tripled in size. We should stop depending on foreign fuels and supply our own.

This is all insane. Why would anyone want to drill for oil that's only going to last for 6 months and leave billions of years of natural habitat destroyed? The refuge there is considered some of the finest anywhere in the world, the "Crown Jewels" of wildlife refuges. It might seem like a great idea to get America out of the grip of OPEC, but it really is not worth it. After that little 6 month run of having our own oil, foreign prices are going to soar for us! In all seriousness, why hasn't there been more of a push towards new supplies of energy? Solar energy is so plentiful, and so much easier on our environment. If people would stop buying SUVs and look into the hybrid cars, it would be one step in the right direction. But that's a whole nother topic.

The goal of pro-drilling Alaskans is money, nothing more. Drilling on the Coastal Plain will turn wilderness into the hideous industrial complex we've toured known as Prudhoe Bay. Other than greed and jobs for Alaskans, there's no decent reason to ruin some of the last pristine wilderness in the United States. People in the U.S. need goals other than making a lot of money. Priscilla Feral

I have read that the recoverable oil in ANWR is in many pockets, not one big well, so recovery would require multiple footprints to recover. Although, only 2000 acres of the 17,500,000 in ANWR are being considered for development, this particular area has quite a bit to offer the Porcupine Caribou Herd, migratory birds, and other species that rely on this unique strip of land for survival. It is uniquely different from the Prudhoe Bay area in that it is bordered by the Brooks Range and the Beaufort Sea. The Porcupine Caribou rely on this particular geography to provide a safe calving area. Whereas the Central Arctic Herd near Prudhoe Bay has neighboring lands it can retreat to for safety, the Porcupine Herd#8217;s alternative would be to go into the Brooks Range where predators are more likely. The migratory birds feed on the rich nutrients found here to build strength for their long migrations; some of them travel nearly the length of the world. The reasons in an earlier post for the 10 year delay are accurate and the environmental and permitting processes should not be compromised. As far as the ice roads go, I have read that there is not enough fresh water available to build the miles of roads that would be required to safely move rigs and equipment and once the exploration phase is done the recovery phase would likely change to a year round operation, when ice roads are thawed. There is already evidence in aerial photos of environmental impact to the tundra from the exploration was done more than a decade ago. Some oil & gas companies may be the leading researchers for Natural Gas and Hydrogen but these are not necessarily clean fuels. The hydrogen they are interested in is most likely derived from fossil fuels, as is natural gas. We need to think about the bigger picture and wean ourselves off of exhaustible and polluting resources like fossil fuels by investing our time and resources into building renewable energy and the infrastructure to support it. We already have the technology and need to take the bold step to utilize it NOW. By aggressively turning to renewable energy, the US will create jobs and boost the economy. The only thing it will not accomplish is to provide a payout for the oil industry.


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