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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Listeners Respond to Answer Report

Air Date: Week of July 7, 1995

Alaskans and others offer their opinions on the Congressional bid to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

Transcript

CURWOOD: And now it's time to hear from you, our listeners. We received an avalanche of mail about our report on proposals in Congress to help cut the deficit by drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. A few of you liked the idea, including this called.

CALLER: Hi, Living on Earth. This is Clark Milne in Fairbanks, Alaska. I believe that the Alaskan senators represent the Alaskan people, and that ANWR in that instance should be open. I personally do not believe it would decimate the wildlife population, although interestingly as a civil engineer I also believe that if it turns out politically that it can't be opened at this time, it'll just remain to be opened at some future time to the benefit of our children and grandchildren.

CURWOOD: And Garth Talbot, from Valdez, Alaska, called to say the decision to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should be left up to the Alaskans themselves.

CALLER: I have a comment about people who live in the eastern states who think it's such a great idea to have public lands in the western states. If they think it's such a good idea, why don't they select 50% of their land and turn it over to the Federal Government, so the Federal Government can interfere in their affairs like they do in the western states? Thank you.

CURWOOD: But the vast majority of you echoed the comments of Ronald Bourque, a listener to WNYC in New York. "It is totally irresponsible to pay for our profligate waste of energy by threatening the fragile ecosystem and precious wildlife habitat of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," Mr. Bourque wrote. "This amounts to long-term ecological damage for short-term gain. If they burn down the house to keep warm this winter, what will they do next winter?"

Clark Johnson, who listens to KNOW in Minneapolis, wrote to say that a gas tax that would bring the price of gasoline in the US in line with that of Europe and Japan would also reduce oil consumption and eliminate the need for further drilling in Alaska. And Dennis Corp, a listener to KCHO in Chico, California, wondered if the money that could be made by drilling in the refuge would have that much impact on the Federal deficit compared to other choices.

CALLER: How do revenues of $10 billion or so over 5 or 6 years stack up against $40 billion for 20 B2 bombers, a potential $80 billion for a new fighter plane from Lockheed, or $86 billion per annum in corporate welfare?

 

 

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