Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Provisions for drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the last pristine region in the United States, have been quietly slipped into the completely unrelated defense spending bill by the US House of Representatives. The bill must still be approved by the US Senate.Here’s a letter that I sent to my US Senate representatives Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow.

I am very upset about the provision for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that was thrown into the defense spending bill. What type of refuge are we providing if we’re actively disrupting the wildlife’s feeding and breeding grounds? Not only that, but the oil that can be extracted will have negligible impact to the defense budget, national economy and dependency on foreign oil. Please vote this measure down and do what you can to have your colleagues in the Senate, both Democrat and Republican (especially John McCain, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Arlan Specter), to do the same.

I encourage you to call, fax, or e-mail your representatives in the US Senate to do the same.Update 2005.12.21: Wow. I received a response from Sen. Stabenow with some informative information. I’m assuming it’s a general message regarding her actions related to ANWR and the defense spending bill (based the mail merge line at the bottom of the message), but I appreciate the response nonetheless. I’ve included it below.I’ve never been one to really consider writing in to a politician or organization to voice my opinion. I’ve always assumed that they’re going to do what they’re going to do and my opinion will likely be ignored. That’s not to say that won’t happen. But I guess I’ve started to get passionate enough about some issues that I’d rather make the effort to do actively influence the situation than take the path of least resistance and do nothing.

Thank you . . .. . . for contacting me regarding your opposition to drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). I share your concerns about this issue.Although I understand the need to decrease our nation’s dependency on foreign oil, I do not believe that we must destroy this beautiful wildlife refuge to achieve that objective.The Senate Budget Resolution included a provision – based on the President’s budget proposal – to make it easier to open the Arctic Refuge to oil and gas drilling. Senator Maria Cantwell (D- Washington) offered an amendment to remove the Arctic Refuge drilling provision from the Resolution. I supported this amendment, but unfortunately it failed by a vote of 48 – 51. Senator Ron Wyden (D- Oregon) also offered an amendment that prohibits any oil found in ANWR from being exported. I supported this amendment which passed by a vote of 86-16.Due to my concerns with drilling and other provisions, I voted against the Senate Budget Resolution. Unfortunately, this resolution passed with ANWR drilling included. As a result of special rules concerning budget resolutions, the Senate was unable to have a full and fair debate on this issue. The Senate was also prevented from using a filibuster to stop this legislation. I am disappointed that we may have lost an irreplaceable national treasure.Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to do so again if I can be of further assistance to you or your family.Sincerely,Debbie StabenowUnited States SenatorDS:Mail.aide_initials.merge

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