Thursday, April 28, 2005

Dear Senators Schumer and Clinton and Congressman Crowley

I urge you to vote against any budget resolution that includes reconciliation instructions that could lead to oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I am deeply opposed to oil development in the Arctic Refuge. America’s last unspoiled birthing ground for Arctic wildlife should not be sacrificed for the sake of a year’s worth of national energy — especially when we could save eleven times as much oil through an increase in fuel economy standards. I am especially outraged that Congressional leaders are attempting to include Arctic drilling in the federal budget bill. Please obey the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the American people who oppose this sneak attack. The fate of America’s premiere wildlife refuge should be decided by an open debate — not by a legislative ploy. Again, I urge you to oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in whatever manner the issue may arise: as part of the budget process or as a free-standing bill. Congress does not have a mandate to sacrifice the Arctic Refuge, and I will hold you accountable for your vote and your stewardship of this irreplaceable natural treasure. Yesterday, after the hand-holding "sheik" and kisses (Judas' gospel will be published by the Swiss next Easter, 2006) CNN put up the statistic of exactly who we rely on for oil. It was a close three-way, Canada, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia, and the commentator said the Saudi, the "sour crude" is the hardest to refine on demand. We should be talking to our neighbors, not drilling in the last wildlife we can still proudly point to. A view from Dyea, the "ghost-town" twin of Skagway, Alaska, site of the Arctic Brotherhood lodge in the Klondike Gold Rush Historical Park, where many, many tourists visit every year, ore came out of British Columbia for Japan, and where I worked in historical archaeology for the National Parks Service right after Mt. St. Helens blew up.

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