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Oil Drilling Stripped From Defense Spending Bill

December 21, 2005 | Environment / Take Action

Yesterday, the Senate refused to include oil drilling in a $453.5 billion defense spending bill. Senators voted 56-44 against passage. The bill, which also includes disaster relief and military funding, would have opened up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

This is a true victory for the ecosystem of the Refuge and the animals residing there. We at Friends of Animals thank the lawmakers and commend all people who worked quickly to oppose the troubling provision. It's now time to discuss real lifestyle changes and fresh energy policies.

Again, we thank everyone who called their senators to ask that drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge be struck from the bill.

A few people in Congress should hear from you especially. The following four people voted " yes" to the measure despite pressure from other Democrats not to do so. Especially if you live in Hawai'i, Louisiana, or Nebraska, please express your disappointment with their lack of ecological ethics to these people:

Senator Daniel Inouye D HI (202) 224-3934
Senator Daniel Akaka D HI (202) 224-6361
Senator Mary Landrieu D LA (202) 224-5824
Senator Ben Nelson D NE (202) 224-6551

Especially if you live in Rhode Island or Ohio, please thank these people for not going along with the drilling:

Senator Michael DeWine R OH (202) 224-2315
Senator Lincoln Chafee R RI (202) 224-2921

No matter where you are in the world, feel free to express your views. Because the Arctic Refuge doesn't just belong to the United States. It belongs to our global society, and most of all to the animals who are its original populace.


how can this be considered a victory? the small portion of ANWR that will be affected by exploration and drilling will have NO EFFECT on wildlife. wildlife populations have grown on the north slope since it was developed for oil. most the activists belonging to groups such as this one live in cities larger than the amount of land we are talking about. 3.3 square miles, smaller than the smallest of towns. i live in a village of 300 people that is larger than the area that would be used. this whole anti ANWR movement is just another example of people who have no knowledge of the facts telling others they are wrong. tell me we need to leave that oil in the ground only if you walked to work on dirt roads to an office lighted by candle, the electricity to run your computer coming from a generator running on something other than fossil fuel. If your lifestyle is AT ALL dependant on fossil fuels your condemnation holds no ground.

It is a small victory that shows the power of voting,but we still have a long way to go. Even though there were people who voted to protect the area who use fossil fuels, still have to heart and willingness to do what's right so that other states can be beautiful and thriving.

the area you speak of protecting is less than 2000 acres of the 19 million acre ANWR. if ANWR were a state it would be larger then the smallest 10 states, about the same size of the smallest 6 states combined. all that is being considered for exploration is 1.5 million acres and all that will be developed is less than 2000 acres. if we cannot develop an area the size of a small farm in an area larger than west virginia then we need to go back to burning candles and walking on dirt roads as Mike stated above. if we are to continue using fossil fuels at all some development must take place. the area we are talking about is not the beautiful wooded hill country you see in the anti-human, i mean anti-oil, commercials. it is barren, flat and expansive. the animals displaced by development have literally millions of acres to relocate, although most simple move to the edge of the development. i think its time to end the emotion based arguments and get the facts. i cannot understand how any one that knows the facts and still depends on fossil fuels to any degree could logically oppose drilling in ANWR.

Give an inch take a yard. We all know that once they get their foot in the door it will spread like wildfire. WAKE UP! It's good it did not go through. All of this intrusion has to stop somewhere, since it's getting WAY OUT OF CONTROL.

PO i doubt you realize the vastness of this state. a realistic comparison to the development in ANWR to the state of Alaska is like a half acre playgound to the state of Wyoming. as to they (we) getting their (our) foot in the door, we have. in prudhoe bay, alpine, bedami and others. most people have been painted a dirty picture of the north slope oilfields. in fact they are cleaner than any city. it is illegal there to spill drinking water on the ground. nothing gets polluted without being cleaned up. companies like BP and Schlumberger have set environmental standards higher than those of the government to ensure low impact. we have proved we can safely get the oil out with a minimal effect on the environment and wildlife. it is perplexing to me that you would think the development of our oil fields is out of control. as Alaskans we have done a great job keeping things in perspective. in a state over twice the size of Texas we have less infrastructure than the city of Seattle. we have proved to be capable stewards of our state and need no help in doing so. this topic is far to important to think with emotions rather than fact, so please inform yourself.

YES!! That's it exactly, PO. I agree whole heartedly! KG

It cannot, as you say, spread like wildfire. all that is can be opened is the 1.5 million acres on the coast. it was left in limbo so it could be used at a later date if so desired. development of the rest of ANWR is not open to debate.

Jimmy in the bush is right, the area of land that we are talking about is less than 1/10 of 1 percent of ANWR now just think how little land compared to all of AK that is. The amount of land that would be disturbed is minuscule compared to the benefits that everyone would receive. Also, let us not forget that this is not the last time that this bill will be brought to congress for approval. Congress changes and people change their minds. This bill will be passed at some point, whether in its current form or in another form. Jewel said this was a victory that showed the power of voting. First of all the only reason this bill didn't pass was because of a few groups like FoA, not the majority of people in the US. I know more people, not just in AK, that wanted ANWR to open up than not. People want the natural resources that are in that region. Until we find (and fund) a viable alternative energy source then we have no choice but to use whatever fossil fuels we can. This was not a victory that showed the power of voting it was a few lobbying groups that represent a few people forcing their will and beliefs on everyone else, making everyone else suffer their consequences, like high oil and energy prices. So, since groups like FoA stopped us opening up ANWR how about they pay for the rest of our increased gas and heating bills. [Blog editors' note: Mike is correct to observe that legislation is repealable. That's why animal rights (not laws - rights) would change everything and would animate environmental law in a way that's never been seen before.]

Priscilla, it seems we may have a bit of common ground. i lived in barrow for a while and it does profit from oil money. it is the headquarters of the north slope borough which profits from the oil taken from the land they govern. some of what they have done with that money is questionable. i have seen polar bear in barrow as well as prudhoe. were you able to view any on your visit there? they really is quite spectacular, as are wolves and all wild animals, i have never stated otherwise. i also agree with you point about bears being drawn to human developments for food. its a huge problem in anchorage as well. i doubt we will ever agree about ANWR. i believe the impact from the development will be miniscule and worth the rewards. i have not asked anyone to agree with me but just to find out the facts before they form an opinion. you, of course, have and i respect that you have formed an opinion based on fact rather than emotion. it is all i have asked. i disagree with debi as i have posted several opposing views and have not been made to feel like an idiot. (ok, the dreaming about the caribou was close. im a big boy and can take it.) jimmy allen

Thank God they won't be drilling-at least for a while!! There is nothing sacred any longer, we seem to be out to destroy only (humans) thank you FoA for keeping us updated, we are glad you are here!


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