Rep. Richard Pombo's piece (Empire, Dec. 8), "Energy plan will tap Alaskan reserves" is all marketing spin. In fact, it contains outright lies. Pombo knows that drilling in the most sensitive area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will not be limited to 2,000 acres. Just ask him, "Where does the bill specify the actual location of these 2,000 acres?" He won't be able to tell you.
I've read the bill. The 2,000-acre figure was arrived at by adding up all of places where drilling rig pads actually touch the ground. Since the rigs must be suspended above the permafrost, it is like saying a kitchen table only takes up 4 square inches, where its legs meet the floor. This figure also does not include pipeline support facilities, gravel pits, airstrips, dredging, and the like. This so-called 2,000-acre requirement can be met by building industrial sprawl across 1.5 million acres of prime wildlife nesting habitat. The rest of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is very rugged mountainous country. I know - I've been there twice. At the very least, Pombo should tell the truth. Sadly, truth is not a priority for those who want to drill there.
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