Develop or preserve Arctic refuge?


  • SusanSusan Bush


In poetic testimony before the Senate subcommittee on Environmental Protection of the Environment and Public Works Committee on April 19, William Roth (R-Del.) urged protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a permanent wilderness area for this country. Calling it the “American Serengeti,” “one of America's great treasures,” and “the last of the last frontiers,” he has introduced legislation (S.39) that would prevent oil exploration and development in the coastal plain of the refuge, located in northeastern Alaska. The bill already has about 20 cosponsors, including John Chafee (R-R.I.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), showing the increasing support it is receiving in Congress. Heightened concern over the national energy supply and evaluation of domestic sources were sparked by the onset of the Persian Gulf War. In his National Energy Strategy, released in February, President Bush wants to see the United States become energy independent. The NES would allow oil and gas drilling in ANWR and on portions of the outer continental shelf.