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Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2005
save the arctic refuge

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“Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead”
-Lucille Ball


"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
--Theodore Roosevelt, 1918

REGISTER TO VOTE




"The time is always right to do what is right"
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The "seven social sins": Knowledge without character,
Science without humanity,
Wealth without work,
Commerce without morality,
Politics without principles,
Pleasure without conscience,
Worship without self-sacrifice."
--Gandhi

"We have not inherited the world from our forfathers -
We have borrowed it from our children."
--Kashmiri, proverb
Dear NRDC BioGems Defender,

No one voted on Election Day to destroy the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But President Bush is now claiming a mandate to do exactly that.

Congressional leaders are pushing for a quick vote that would turn America's greatest sanctuary for Arctic wildlife into a vast, polluted oil field.

Even worse, they are planning to avoid public debate on this devastating measure by hiding it in a must-pass budget bill.

Please go to http://www.savebiogems.org/arctic/takeaction.asp?ms=RR0501 right now and send a message telling your U.S. senators and representative to reject this sneak attack on the Arctic Refuge.

And please forward my message to your friends, family and colleagues. We must mobilize millions of Americans in opposition as quickly as possible.

Don't believe for a second that the president is targeting the Arctic Refuge for the sake of America's energy security or to lower gas prices at the pump.

President Bush knows full well that oil drilled in the Arctic Refuge would take ten years to get to market and would never equal more than a paltry one or two percent of our nation's daily consumption. Simply put, sacrificing the crown jewel of our wildlife heritage would do nothing to reduce gas prices or break our addiction to Persian Gulf oil.

But if the raid on the Arctic Refuge isn't really about gas prices or energy security, then what is it about?

It's the symbolism.

The Arctic Refuge represents everything spectacular and everything endangered about America's natural heritage. It embodies a million years of ecological serenity . . . a vast stretch of pristine wilderness . . . an irreplaceable birthing ground for polar bears, caribou and white wolves.

It is the greatest living reminder that conserving nature in its wild state is a core American value. It stands for every remnant of wilderness that we, as a people, have wisely chosen to protect from the relentless march of bulldozers, chain saws and oil rigs.

And that's why the Bush administration is dead set on destroying it.

By unlocking the Arctic Refuge, they hope to open the door for oil, gas and coal giants to invade our last and best wild places: our western canyonlands, our ancient forests, our coastal waters, even our national monuments.

This is the real agenda behind the raid on the Arctic Refuge and the entire Bush-Cheney energy plan: to transfer our public estate into corporate hands so it can be liquidated for a quick buck.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) admitted as much when he said this battle over the Arctic Refuge is really a fight over whether energy exploration will be allowed in similarly sensitive areas in the future. "It's about precedent," Rep. DeLay said.

I take him at his word. If we let the president and Congress plunder the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the sake of oil company profits, then no piece of our natural heritage will be safe from wholesale destruction.

Please go to http://www.savebiogems.org/arctic/takeaction.asp?ms=RR0501 and tell your senators and representative they have no mandate to destroy the Arctic Refuge. Then please be sure to forward this message to as many people as you can.

And thank you for speaking out at this critical time.

Sincerely,

Robert Redford
Board of Trustees
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

**

From BushGreenwatch:

Battle Looms Again Over Drilling Alaska Wildlife Refuge

With Republicans having added four seats to increase their Senate majority to 55, the battle over drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is high on the agenda once again.

Rather than including ANWR as part of an energy bill, pro-drilling forces are expected to attempt to insert ANWR into a budget resolution.

This is because an energy bill can be filibustered, with 60 votes required to end the filibuster, while a budget resolution requires only a simple majority, and cannot be filibustered. The GOP sought to use this tactic in 2003, but lost by a 52-48 vote.

Criticizing the tactic, Kristin Cummings, senior Alaska Lands Advocate at the National Wildlife Federation, calls the move a backdoor attempt to write legislation, pointing out that the energy bill has no place in a budget resolution. "It's not a revenue raising mechanism," says Cummings. "It needs to be in a forum where it can be openly debated on its merits."

As Athan Manuel, director of U.S. PIRG's Arctic Wilderness Campaign, told BushGreenwatch, "Including the arctic refuge in the budget shows how desperate drilling proponents are to open this wilderness and hide it from the American public."

The Bush Administration touts drilling ANWR as a way to reduce dependence on imported oil. Opponents point out that it will take as long as 10 years before any ANWR oil could reach the market, and even then it would provide at best a six-months' supply. Defenders of Wildlife notes that a mere one-mile-per-gallon increase in fuel efficiency would save half-a-million barrels of oil per day--but drilling advocates show so sign of supporting such a measure. [1]

Three Senate Democrats--Mary Landrieu (LA), Daniel Akada (HI) and Daniel Inouye (HI)--voted in favor of drilling ANWR in the last Senate vote, in 2003. Eight Republicans opposed it. They include Sens. Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL), Susan Collins (R-ME), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Mike DeWine (R-OH), Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), John McCain (R-AZ), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Gordon Smith (R-OR).

Polls by both Democrat and Republican organizations find Americans opposed to drilling ANWR by a two-to-one margin. [2]

Signs of waning corporate support may be sprouting, with the announcement yesterday that ConocoPhillips, the largest oil company in Alaska, is withdrawing from Arctic Power, and is no longer actively advocating drilling in the region. [3] Arctic Power is a lobbying group that focuses solely on opening the coastal plain of the Arctic Natioanl Wildlife Refuge for drilling. BP, also one of the largest operators in Alaska, withdrew from Arctic Power in November 2002.

###

TAKE ACTION
Take action through www.SaveArcticRefuge.org

###

SOURCES:
[1] Defenders of Wildlife website.
[2] Arctic Poll Results, League of Conservation Voters.
[3] U.S. PIRG press release, Jan. 5, 2005.



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