Don't drill ANWR

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2005

The world's oil supply is going to be depleted around 2040. Some scientists will argue that the oil supply will be depleted around 2020. They are saying we have at the most four generations of fossil fuels left in the world, which includes our coal reserves in North America.

Why is Gov. Frank Murkowski so eager to exploit Alaska's oil? Frank should be protecting our oil for Alaska's future. Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the crown jewel of America's refuge system. The 1980 law that created the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge also closed 1.5 million acres of the coastal plain to gas and oil exploration unless specifically authorized by Congress.

Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could be particularly disastrous for wildlife because the area targeted includes some of the refuge's most critical and sensitive habitat such as: porcupine caribou, polar bears, seals, snow geese, trumpeter swans, arctic terns, and arctic fox. And also indigenous humans. The biologists are also concerned about the long-term environmental effects of the millions of gallons of waste from oil and gas operations disposed of in open pits, injected into the subsurface, frozen into the permafrost and discharged directly into the air and water and erosion problems to tundra.

More than 90 percent of the coastal lands west of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge have already been opened to drilling, with many documented negative effects on wildlife and habitat. Despite the environmental and economic impacts, President George W. Bush, Gov. Murkowski and their big oil allies are intent on opening the coastal plain to drilling and causing a major threat to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the nation's last unspoiled major arctic ecosystem.

In closing, we don't want any oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge now nor in the future. This is my own opinion.

Don Hoff Jr.

Hixson, Tenn.

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