Stop oil drilling in Alaskan wilderness
The battle to save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has moved to the Senate, and powerful special interests are cranking up the pressure to drill for oil in America\'s last great untouched wilderness. Big Oil and the Teamsters and AFL-CIO labor unions rammed the proposal through the House of Representatives Aug. 1. The Arctic refuge -- our most magnificent wildlife sanctuary -- is the only remaining 5 percent of Alaska\'s North Slope not already open to drilling. Oil exploration there would be like drilling in Yellowstone National Park or the Grand Canyon. Big Oil wants to drill on the refuge\'s coastal plain. That\'s the biological heart of the refuge. Called \"America\'s Serengeti,\" it is home to polar bears, musk oxen, wolves, millions of migratory birds, caribou and hundreds of other species. The most optimistic estimates of commercially recoverable oil from the coastal plain would yield only about six months\' worth of oil for the U.S. -- not even a dent in our dependence on foreign oil. America could save far more oil simply by increasing the fuel efficiency of our cars and light trucks. The industrial disturbance would be immense and spills inevitable. Polar bears could abandon their dens, leaving cubs to die. BP\'s facilities at nearby Prudhoe Bay constitute one of the world\'s largest industrial complexes, and in 1999 alone it had 293 spills of 44,551 gallons! And remember all the wildlife killed by the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill.