Monday, June 06, 2005

North To Alaska

The Washington Post published a wonderful article about drilling ANWR. The title is What We Would Lose in Alaska. For me, these paragraphs say it all:

If our lawmakers could find a week to escape their delegations by walking out into the wilderness, to really compare the so-called "ice desert" with the unsightly Prudhoe Bay -- west of ANWR -- they would begin to understand what we're about to destroy. While Prudhoe Bay has a completely different caribou herd, that herd has appeared to prosper; the oil fields do not monopolize its calving grounds. ANWR's coastal plain, however, is in the heart of the Porcupine caribou herd's calving grounds. Virtually every federal and private biologist who has studied these caribou has concluded that oil development is incompatible with the herd's survival.

Build even one drill rig in the heart of the coastal plain -- along with the inevitable gravel-pad-cushioned buildings and pipelines and the gas-flared, steel town that is an oil field -- and we will irreparably damage our greatest wilderness. The administration's claim that drilling will take only 2,000 of the 1.5 million acres of available coastal plain is flawed. The supposedly small "footprint" of drill rigs will, like that at Prudhoe Bay, be linked by roads, pipelines, machinery and aircraft that will steal the silence, dredge gravel out of the rivers, monopolize the view and dominate several million acres of wildlife habitat. To claim that nothing will be damaged is the same as saying there's nothing there to begin with. America's last wild corner will be conquered by an industrial oilfield.

To know what's at stake in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is to demand its protection.

Jonathan Waterman is a filmmaker and author of nine adventure books, including the recently published "Where Mountains Are Nameless; Passion and Politics in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."

The information above reminds us that the area is a refuge for a reason. It doesn't contain enough oil resources so it's obvious that drilling anywhere in the 1.5 million acres is a waste of time that won't stop there. The real "prize" is located offshore where the bowhead whales play. The Inupiat Eskimos are not happy. Click on the Green Ribbon icon to learn more & spread the word: Thou shalt not drill!!


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