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LAY OF THE LAND

Safety in Numbers | 10 reasons not to drill | Crisis Vultures | Future Farms | Rail resurgent | Coho salmon | Bold Strokes | Cheese Sticks | Panama Canal North? | Value of Nature | Updates

Ten Reasons Not to Drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

1. We don't need to. Making SUVs, vans, and pickups as fuel efficient as regular cars would save three times as much oil as we could get from the refuge.

2. It won't help in the current crisis. If drilling were approved today, it would be ten years before oil arrived in refineries.

3. It would permanently scar the Arctic. Drilling would require a massive infrastructure: 280 miles of roads, hundreds of miles of pipeline, and 50 million cubic yards of gravel mined from local streambeds.

4. It's not worth it. Destroying the Arctic Refuge would gain us only a six months' supply of oil.

5. It won't make us independent of Mideast oil. We get about 2.5 million barrels of oil a day from the Mideast; the Arctic Refuge could supply only 300,000 barrels a day.

6. Ninety-five percent of Alaska's North Slope is already open to oil exploration, and we haven't even begun to tap its vast natural-gas reserves.

7. It won't lower gas prices, which are determined by the world market. There isn't enough oil in the Arctic Refuge to affect what you pay at the pump.

8. Seventy percent of the American people support protecting the refuge.

9. It would violate the International Agreement for the Conservation of Polar Bears. Drilling on the refuge's coastal plain would disturb the greatest concentration of denning polar bears in Alaska. 129,000 caribou can't be wrong.

--P.R.


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