Thursday, May 25, 2006

Misunderstanding N-O

What part of NO does the House of Representatives not understand? Majority Leader John Boehner has scheduled another vote on Thursday to open only 2,000 acres of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil drilling. Once again, President Bush must be salivating at the very thought. It is the underpinning of his energy blueprint because he sees the potential 16 billion barrels of crude from the 1.5-million-acre coastal plain as the only way to increase U.S. oil supplies and reduce U.S. reliance on petroleum imports.

With any luck (and a lot of work), it will fail -- again. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), chairman of the Commerce Committee, has already threatened to include ANWR drilling in a package of energy legislation that Republicans are drafting for possible consideration this summer.

Oil companies believe that advanced drilling technology would allow them to explore for crude without harming the land. Environmental groups understand the reality. U.S. Geological Survey studies have found that oil in the refuge isn't concentrated in a single, large reservoir. It is spread across the coastal plain in more than 30 small deposits, which would require vast networks of roads and pipelines that would fragment the habitat, disturbing and displacing wildlife. That is degredation to a lot more than 2,000 acres, and there is not enough oil to justify it. The extremely sensitive ecosystem provides a habitat for polar bears, caribou and other wildlife.

In addition, the cultures of the Gwich’in Athabascan Indians and Inupiat Eskimos that rely on this wildlife for their subsistence will also suffer irrevocably. Eskimo residents and leaders of the North Slope Borough are criticizing the impacts of oil development to their lands and their seas. Gwich’in Indian residents of Arctic Village, on the southern boundary of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, fear their community’s caribou hunting will be severely impacted by oil development in the Refuge.

It is time to remember that humans are on this Earth in a stewardship capacity.

A steward is someone who has been given the responsibility to care for the property of another. As an example, God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to “work it and take care of it” (Gen. 2:15). Christ tells us in the Parable of the Wise Servant and the Parable of the Talents (Matt. 24 and 25) that we must be good stewards of the things he has placed in our care.
Oil on Ice: Every member of Congress needs to hear the voices of people who cared to speak out in defense of it. They need to understand the meaning of the word NO!

Update: Rep. George Miller (CA-07), Chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee provides this statement regarding the latest legislative activity:
Many people have referred to the fact that the President stood here in January and told us we were addicted to oil. Well, the supporters of this legislation and the President of the United States are acting just like addicts. What they're doing is looking for one more quick fix. One more fix and they'll get religion tomorrow. One more fix and they'll get well, one more fix and they'll go into treatment. What they're telling us is they've postponed conservation, they've postponed new technologies, and they've postponed new sources of energy
[. . .]
Now, in the eleventh hour, with American consumers suffering from $3.50 gas prices, they're buying a lotto ticket. They're buying a lotto ticket and it's called ANWR, and they're hoping to be able to redeem it. When it doesn't work, America will be deeper in debt, more dependent on foreign sources of oil than they are today because if they can get ANWR, they can once again postpone the commitments to conservation and technology.
The definition of STUPID: The U.S. House of Representatives.

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