Drilling Does Not Mean Domestic Oil Independence

A guest post by Matthew Gilbert of Arctic Village, Alaska

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been an unattainable goal for all the pro-development politicians and activists for one reason: it is an impractical and unethical goal.

The argument I hear over and over from the pro-development campaign is how great it would be to have a domestic resource to utilize; perhaps for a distorted sense of pride or faulty political training on they’re part. Using this argument of domestic independence has not worked with the general public. The majority of the voters in our nation have voted to protect the refuge again and again.

The pro-development forces occasionally play off the statistics of people in favor of "insourcing" to open the refuge. The Anchorage Daily News once had an article which said that Arctic Power-the main lobbying group to open the refuge to development-has received millions of dollars in state grants since 1993, but Arctic Power has not succeeded since then so this is where the state money is going: nowhere!

If the refuge is included in this fall’s Budget Bill (2005), it is a sneaky way the Alaska State delegation has devised to get the refuge developed. Our delegation knew that they could not achieve a winning vote in public because they got defeated dozens of times before, so they cunningly crafted this way through the Budget Bill to get it passed. The Budget Reconciliation Bill will be voted on in October of this year. If it succeeds, the refuge is lost.

I urge as many supporters as possible to contact their Congressmen to put a stop to this ridiculous means of developing the refuge. Urge them to remove any Arctic Refuge drilling provision from the bill, or if necessary, vote down the entire Budget Reconciliation Bill.