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NFC: artic drilling....the no opinion

Dear Friends this is one email petition that may actually accomplish
something, but time is of the essence!
Your signature at the bottom of this letter to
President Clinton, will show your support
for protecting The Arctic Wilderness and
all the wildlife therein from Oil companies.
by having one of president Clinton's lasts acts in
office to declare this area a National Monument.
Copy and paste the entire letter and list in to a
new message and e-mail it to all your friends.
If you are the 20th to sign, Please e-mail this to:
president at whitehouse_gov
Make This Natural Treasure a National Monument
December 29, 2000
ATLANTA - Rosalynn and I always look for opportunities
to visit parks
and wildlife areas in our travels. But nothing matches
spectacle of wildlife we found on the coastal plain of
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. To the
north lay the
Arctic Ocean; to the south, rolling foothills rose
toward the
glaciated peaks of the Brooks Range. At our feet was a
mat of low
tundra plant life, bursting with new growth, perched
atop the
As we watched, 80,000 caribou surged across the vast
around us. Called by instinct older than history, this
(River) caribou herd was in the midst of its annual
migration. To
witness this vast sea of caribou in an uncorrupted
wilderness home,
and the wolves, ptarmigan, grizzlies, polar bears,
musk oxen and
millions of migratory birds, was a profoundly humbling
We were reminded of our human dependence on the
natural world.
Sadly, we were also forced to imagine what we might
see if the
caribou were replaced by smoke-belching oil rigs,
highways and a
pipeline that would destroy forever the plain's
delicate and
precious ecosystem.
Unfortunately, that scenario is far from imaginary.
The reason the
Alaskan coastal plain is home today to a pageant of
wildlife is
that there have been both Republican and Democratic
presidents who
cared about the environment. In 1960 President Dwight
D. Eisenhower
designated the coastal plain as part of a national
wildlife refuge.
Twenty years later, I signed legislation expanding the
area to 18 million acres.
I listened to scientists who emphasized that the
coastal plain is
the ecological heart and soul of this, our greatest
sanctuary. And I decided we should do everything
possible to
protect it and the stunning wildlife that it shelters.
At my
urging, the House twice voted to dedicate the coastal
plain as
statutorily protected wilderness.
Then, even more than today, much attention was
focused on high
energy prices; oil companies  playing on Americans'
fears  sought
the right to drill in protected areas. While the House
held firm,
the Senate forced a compromise, without ever putting
the fate of
the refuge to a vote. Thus, the law I signed 20 years
ago did not
permanently protect this Arctic wilderness. It did,
however, block
any oil company drilling until Congress votes
otherwise. That is
where the issue stands today.
The fate of the Arctic coastal plain was a subject of
debate in the presidential campaign. But as the 106th
adjourned, a bill to safeguard the coastal plain by
designating it
as wilderness was blocked by parochial opposition from
congressional delegation. And there is little doubt
President-elect George W. Bush and Vice President-
elect Dick
Cheney will press Congress to open this area to oil
companies. As
oil industry veterans, they have unquestioning faith
that drilling
would have little impact.
The simple fact is, drilling is inherently
incompatible with
wilderness. The roar alone of road-building, trucks,
drilling and
generators would pollute the wild music of the Arctic
and be as
out of place there as it would be in the heart of
Yellowstone or
the Grand Canyon.
Some 95 percent of Alaska's oil-rich North Slope
lands are already
available for exploration or development. Our nation
must choose
what to do with the last 5 percent. Oil drilling or
wilderness. We
cannot have it both ways.
I am for the wilderness. That is why I urge President
Clinton, who
has been a champion for America's environment, to
proclaim the
coastal plain as a new Arctic Wildlife National
Monument before he
leaves office. It is vital to do so now, as the Arctic
threatened as never before.
National monuments are a unique form of recognition
presidents have used for nearly a century to single
out the finest
examples of America's natural heritage. Of course,
Congress can
undo a presidentially proclaimed monument. But that
has never been
Teddy Roosevelt pioneered bold presidential action
conservation. He used the Antiquities Act to protect
the Grand
Canyon, urging Americans: "Leave it as it is. The ages
have been at
work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do
is keep it for
your children, your children's children and for all
who come after
Now it is President Clinton's turn. With the Arctic
coastal plain
facing very real peril, it is time for presidential
foresight once
Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States,
is chairman
of the Carter Center in Atlanta.