So the Bush administration has just given the green light to oil and gas exploration in an area of the Arctic that even the hard-line Reagan administration wanted to protect.
Frustrated by its failure to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Bush administration has given the green light to open up an area in the nearby National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
The new leases surround Lake Teshekpuk, which is one of the largest lakes in Alaska. It is also where the surrounding tundra provides a crucial habitat for migratory birds and geese as well as caribou. The area is also a popular hunting ground for the local Inupiat, who are now said to be re-considering supporting the development of ANWR.
Environmental groups were also disappointed. “The Bush administration is turning back the clock” Stan Senner, Alaska chief for the National Audubon Society. “They’re leasing an area that even the Reagan administration believed was deserving of protection.”
Ironically one of the defenders of the area included Reagan’s Interior chief, James Watt, famed for being “public enemy number one” by environmentalists because of his “free for all” policy on opening public lands for mining, ranching and drilling. Watt was a proponent of dominion theory that gives “man” dominion over earth to do what he wants with. Well we know what George Bush thinks we can do with it. Drill it dry, not matter the consequences.