INDIGENOUS ENVIRONMENTAL ALERT!
ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
IT'S THE 11th HOUR OUR LAST CHANCE TO PROTECT THE ARCTIC REFUGE!
Throughout the previous years, the Gwich’in indigenous peoples, conservation and environmental coalitions and American voters have successfully prevented U.S. Congress from opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. But the political landscape of America has changed. With record highs in gasoline and fossil fuel prices, the oil and energy industry are using fear to push their corporate agenda to open the Arctic Refuge to drilling.
Oil corporations and their friends in the U.S. Congress continue to try to use the Budget Process to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. They have attached a drilling provision to the massive 2006 Budget Reconciliation package in an effort to limit public debate and circumvent normal congressional procedure. The Senate is expected to vote this Thursday, November 3, and the House is poised to vote the week of Nov. 7.
The most important thing to do RIGHT NOW to help save the Arctic Refuge is to call your Senators http://www.senate.gov/ and Representatives http://www.house.gov/. Urge them to vote against any budget reconciliation bill that allows oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge.
You could call them at the Capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121. Or call toll-free with the Arctic Action Hotline: 1-888-8-WILDAK (1-888-894-5325).
The Budget Reconciliation Bill will formally legalize drilling for oil in the Arctic Refuge! With your help, we will defeat it.
Want to do more?
Call your Senator's in-district office and leave a message there as well. Only through your action can we ensure the safe future of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and this countries other special areas that are rich in biological and cultural diversity!
Some key points to remind your elected representatives:
Please vote against any budget reconciliation budget that allows oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge. The Arctic Refuge is a national treasure that should be protected for future generations, not destroyed for a speculative and finite amount of oil. Even the Energy Information Agency has determined that Arctic oil, even at peak production, will only reduce the cost of a gallon of gas by about a penny…..in 20 years.
We don't need to plunder our natural heritage to meet our country's energy needs. The gains are too small and the sacrifice too great.
· Drilling in the Arctic has nothing to do with the budget nor with generating revenues for America. The figures put forward in the reconciliation package are highly speculative at best. Both the House and Senate assume $2.4 billion in revenues from Arctic drilling, a number that is inflated to 80 times the going rate for oil leases in the region. If they really cared about high prices, they would be looking into why oil companies are raking in record profits in the wake of the recent hurricanes.
· The issue of oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge is too important to the American public and future generations to be snuck through in the budget bill in an attempt to circumvent the established process. It should be fully debated and brought to a vote on its own merits.
· Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would not put a dent in our dependence on foreign oil, would do nothing to strengthen our national security, and would not save consumers a dime at the pump. But the harm to wildlife and this spectacular wilderness would be permanent and irreparable.
· Any construction and implementation of the vast oil extractive infrastructure to be built in the pristine environment of the Arctic Refuge presents too much of an ecological risk that could endanger the survival of the Porcupine Caribou, polar bears, migratory birds and other rich biodiversity. Any impact to the caribou and biodiversity in the Arctic Refuge area would negatively impact the cultural and human rights of the Gwich’in and Inupiaq indigenous communities. Opening this area to oil drilling could set into motion the next step towards drilling offshore adjacent to Inupiaq villages such as Kaktovik.
· Americans deserve a cheaper, quicker, safer and cleaner energy policy that safeguards the wild places we care so deeply about. We cannot drill our way to energy independence, but we can embrace responsible measures and real, 21st Century energy solutions that make cars go farther on a gallon of gas, promote conservation, energy efficiency, invest in clean renewable energy, and protect our natural heritage.
By simply increasing fuel efficiency standards for our cars to an average of 40 miles per gallon we could save more oil than we currently import from the Persian Gulf or could ever extract from the Arctic Refuge, combined.
This is it! The showdown vote
to protect the Arctic Refuge is upon us NOW!
There are some places that should be off-limits to oil drilling and industrial development, and the Arctic Refuge is one of them.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is the home of the Porcupine Caribou Herd's calving grounds, located in the Northern coastal plain. This coastal area referred to as ANWR or the 1002 lands by the oil companies, is to the Gwich’in Vadzaih googii vi dehk'it gwanlii - or "sacred place where life begins," and is *exactly* where the U.S. Republicans want to drill for the *possibility* of oil.
We have a moral responsibility to save places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for future generations. That's why our country has remained committed to its protection for nearly 50 years.
This is both an environmental justice and human rights issue.