URGENT! ANWR drilling tied to Defense Authorization Bill

Kevin Ancell kancell at goodearthgardens.com
Sun Sep 23 09:50:52 EDT 2001


> From: "Dawn M. Ripley" <ripley at iglou.com>

> (If I offend with this posting, then please accept my apology in advance

    <snip>

> The bill, S.1438, will be debated on and voted on TOMORROW, September 23;
It
> is likely that it will pass as a result of our unchecked preparations for
war.

There is probably only one senator Barbara Lee from the Berkley CA. area
that will vote against anything having to do with our preparations for war.

Brief History of the Refuge
Prior to 1968, Alaska's North Slope was the largest intact wilderness area
in the United States. In the late 1950s, U.S. Supreme Court Justice William
O. Douglas visited northeast Alaska at the invitation of the well-known
Alaskan naturalists Olaus and Margaret Murie. Impressed with the grandeur of
the region, he, together with the Murie's, persuaded then-President
Eisenhower to set aside 8 million acres as an Arctic Wildlife Range. This
Act brought into being the first legislation protecting the Porcupine
Caribou Herd's most important habitat - the Coastal Plain calving ground.
Approximately a decade later in 1968, the Atlantic Richfield Oil Company
discovered the largest oil field in North American history at Prudhoe Bay.
In 1980, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act [ANILCA] was
passed, expanding the Range to 19 million acres and renaming it the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge. The 1.5 million acre Coastal Plain was excluded
from wilderness protection pending study of the area's potential petroleum
reserves. This Act carried special importance in that it included the
concept that 'national-interest lands,' i.e., wilderness lands, in the state
could be set aside for the interest of American's as a whole. The result
preserved an even greater portion of the Porcupine Caribou Herd's range, but
continued to leave vulnerable the herd's calving grounds.

To get a perspective: Alaska has a population about the size of the nation's
capital. But you could squeeze California into Alaska almost four times.
Those who fear that Alaska is neglected in the matter of federal wildlife
preservation are reminded that 60 percent of the official wilderness areas
of the United States are in Alaska. ANWR is way over on the northeastern
side of the state, about the size of South Carolina. What the oil industry
is asking for is access to 2,000 acres, an area no bigger than Dulles
Airport. "This footprint would be 50 times smaller than the Montana ranch
owned by Ted Turner, who helps bankroll efforts to keep ANWR off-limits."

On April 21, 1987, Don Hodel, then Secretary of the Interior, issued the
"Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Alaska, Coastal Plain Resource Assessment,"
more commonly referred to as the "1002 Report." The report reviewed the
geology and resource potential of the ANWR coastal plain, and concluded that
"the 1002 area has a very significant potential to contribute to the
national need for oil."

The coastal plain area is approximately 70 miles from the Trans-Alaskan
Pipeline

About Prudhoe Bay and the TransAlaska Pipeline
In one important government study, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
compared predictions about the development of the Prudhoe Bay oil fields and
TransAlaska pipeline with what actually transpired in terms of environmental
effects and impacts on wildlife. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service report
concluded that fish and wildlife habitat losses resulting from construction
and operation of the pipeline system and Prudhoe Bay oilfields had been
greatly underestimated in the original Environmental Impact Statement.

http://arcticcircle.uconn.edu/ANWR/anwrusf&wreport.html

Since the 80's we now have better and cleaner ways to go after the resources
below the surface.





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