How many times do we have to tell our government that we don't want oil drilling in the Arctic?!
It's back once again, the recurring nightmare of pro-oil lobbyists trying to sell off the wilderness for a quick fix.
Last week, the Republican-controlled Senate, by a razor-thin margin, passed a budget resolution that includes a provision for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Several Republicans voted against the resolution, and it passed only because Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, agreed to vote for the resolution after being promised up to $10 billion in projected revenues from drilling in the refuge and other sources to help rebuild the Gulf Coast. Landrieu was the only Democrat to vote for the resolution.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the oil to produce these revenues would not actually even be available for nearly 10 years due to planning and construction.
If you want to see how your Senators voted look here: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=2&vote=00074 (a "yea" is FOR arctic drilling, a "nay" AGAINST)
Despite the Senate’s narrow approval of the provision, there is no guarantee it will pass the House. They are scheduled to debate the proposed blueprint for the FY2007 federal budget during the coming week.
This incomparable wilderness is habitat to more than 250 animal species, including wolves, polar bears, grizzlies, caribou and millions of migrating birds. It features a complete range of arctic and subarctic ecosystems - a wilderness of boreal forests, dramatic peaks, and tundra. At 19 million acres, the Alaskan refuge is the largest in the nation. The 1.5 million-acre coastal plain - the area most important to wildlife - is what is being eyed by the oil industry.
Instead of drilling for oil in the Arctic refuge, we should be putting more effort into conservation and developing alternative energy sources. It's so obvious! Simply by improving the energy efficiency in buildings, we could decrease national energy use by one-third by 2010. This would save twice the amount estimated to be recoverable from the Arctic Refuge.
Barbara Boxer has an interesting idea. She's planning to organize a consumer boycott of any oil company that decides to drill in this pristine Alaskan wilderness area. Join her by signing the petition at this link: http://ga4.org/campaign/boycott?qp_source=petitionsearch
It will enable you to send an easy-click email to the CEOs of ExxonMobil, BP, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch/Shell, and ChevronTexaco now and tell them to stay out of ANWR.
You can also write to your Representatives in the House this week and remind them to vote against any Bill containing ANWR drilling provisions.
Find your Representative and her/his contact info here: http://www.house.gov/ There's a sample letter below.
Dear Representative ________,
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a pristine wilderness and we have a responsibility to preserve it. It is home to hundreds of wildlife species, including caribou, polar bears, musk oxen, and millions of migratory birds.
I will not stand by and allow this wilderness area to be defiled by oil drilling. The amount of oil that the U.S. Geological Survey estimates could be recovered from the Arctic Refuge would amount to less than a six-month supply for American consumers.
By increasing automobile fuel efficiency standards to 30 mpg, by the year 2020, we could save twice as much energy as might be recovered from ANWR, according to reports from the Northern Alaska Environmental Center. The World Watch Institute points out that the amount of energy that annually leaks through windows in the US is equivalent to the amount that moves through the Trans-Alaska pipeline every year. By improving the energy efficiency in buildings, we could decrease national energy use by one-third by 2010. This would save twice the amount estimated to be recoverable from the Arctic Refuge.
Please vote against any bill that contains provisions to drill in the ANWR.