Arctic drilling not harmful |

Arctic drilling not harmful

After reading the article on the front page of The Union on oil drilling in the Arctic, I had to write this letter. I had just read an article by the U.S. Geological Survey about the possible impact of oil exploration and development and the impact on wildlife in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Sen. Liebermann claimed the report confirmed that environmental destruction would occur if ANWR were opened. Liebermann must have read a completely different article than the one I just read on ANWR. It claims that oil drilling wouldn’t harm caribou, polar bears, muskoxen and migratory birds, especially snow geese. In fact, that drilling development has proved to be good for caribou. The herd has had an increase from 3,000 to 27,000, so what part of this increase does Sen. Liebermann not understand.

On Channel 6, they showed brown bears walking on the pipeline. It is warmer. As for snow geese they have become a vast pest problem across North America as their population has exploded so rapidly to some 5 million birds. They are totally denuding entire landscapes of all vegetation, turning it into an Arctic desert. Twenty years ago when I hunted in Canada, it was illegal to kill a snow goose; now hunting season has been extended, bag limits to unheard of limits, to help reduce snow geese populations.

Yet we are told that drilling in ANWR might harm a few snow geese. In fact, all the predictions of doom and gloom for Alaskan wildlife have proved untrue. I hope when gas prices go sky high that people remember this in the November election.

The proposed development area is approximately 2,000 acres. The National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is over 100 square miles and the Transalaska pipeline was built by private enterprise; it was not a government project. I was in Valdez last year. All the tankers loading with oil were from the Orient. There was not one ship flying the American flag.

Rudy Kutchar

Grass Valley

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