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E-M:/ Arctic Refuge-Keep the heat on



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alison Horton" <alison.horton@sierraclub.org>
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Sierra Club activists in Michigan are urging everyone to participate in the
Clinton Call In Days to protect the Arctic Refuge. The call for action below
comes from the Alaska Wilderness League.  Calling Clinton is something we
can do to make it clear that not everyone in Michigan takes Spencer
Abraham's view of what to do with the Arctic Refuge...

> RE: Arctic Refuge Update #159
> DA: January 8, 2000
>
> Quote of the Week:
> "Dwight Eisenhower set aside lands on the North Slope of Alaska,
protecting
> one of the last great caribou herds on earth. The Arctic National Wildlife
> Refuge is a Republican creation, which makes the Republican eagerness to
> drill it all the more distressing."
> - William Cronin, University of Wisconsin Professor writing in today's New
> York Times
>
> HEADLINES
>
> DAY OF ACTION SHUTS DOWN WHITE HOUSE PHONES: KEEP CALLING!
> BUSH NAMES INTERIOR AND ENERGY SECRETARIES
> ARCTIC MONUMENT CAMPAIGN IN HOME STRETCH
> BP FIXED PRICE OF OIL ON WEST COAST THROUGH EXPORTS
> ACTIVIST RESOURCES
>
> DAY OF ACTION SHUTS DOWN WHITE HOUSE PHONES: KEEP CALLING!
>
> When the White House comment line operators went to work on January 3rd
and
> 4th, they had no idea what was in store for them: an estimated 100,000
> Arctic Wilderness Warriors tying up their phone lines from 9 in the
morning
> until 5 at night!  One volunteer asked the operator how many calls had
gone
> in.  The operator couldn't reveal the exact number but said that the
phones
> had been ringing off the hook ALL DAY LONG!
>
> Thank you so much for taking the time to call the White House on January
> 3rd.  You all did such a great job of spreading the word and ringing in
the
> New Year for the Arctic Refuge that we've decided to KEEP CALLING UNTIL
> CLINTON DESIGNATES AN ARCTIC MONUMENT!!!
>
> That's right!  We're having a "10 Days of Clinton" Call-in Countdown.
> Clinton's last day is January 19th - so starting this Tuesday, January 9th
> we will be shutting down the White House phones EVERY SINGLE DAY - but
once
> again, we'll need your help to do it.  We've fixed our toll free number so
> now an unlimited number of callers can call in.  So remember, pass the
> following message on to everyone you know, and on January 9 - 19 call the
> White House EARLY and OFTEN for the Arctic Refuge National Monument!
>
> Please forward this message to your e-mail lists and list servs:
>
> During the next 10 days we can help protect a national treasure: the
Arctic
> National Wildlife Refuge.  We need your help, January 9th - 19th to call
the
> White House and urge President Clinton to declare the Arctic Refuge a
> National Monument.  We want to say a huge THANK YOU if you've already made
> the call, and ask you to please call again. Here's why:
>
> Before January 20, 2001 President Bill Clinton has the executive right to
> provide National Monument status to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
>
> In last week's successful call-in day we were able to tie up the White
House
> phone lines for three solid days - thanks to concerned individuals like
> yourselves!  We were so successful, that we've decided to stage the 10
Days
> of Clinton Call-in Countdown for the Arctic Refuge.  From January 9th -
19th
> hundreds of thousands of supporters will be calling the White House to
voice
> their support for the Arctic Wildlife National Monument.  Call the White
> House TOLL FREE at 1-888-750-4897 or 202-456-1111 to make your voice
heard!
> Simply let the White House operator know that you want President Clinton
to
> protect the Arctic Refuge as a national monument.  You can help by calling
> every day until Clinton designates a monument.  Ask everyone you know,
your
> friends, hairdresser, barkeep, grandma - everyone, to make the call as
well,
> and help us ring in a Happy New Year for the Arctic Refuge.
>
> The coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge is the biological heart of the last
> unspoiled Arctic ecosystem in North America.  Polar bears den on these
> coastal lands while 130,000 Porcupine River caribou travel hundreds of
miles
> each year to the coastal plain, where they deliver their young.  Grizzly
> bears, musk oxen, wolves, golden eagles and tundra swans all call this
> unique place home for at least part of the year.
>
> The Gwich'in Indians call this area "the sacred place where life begins."
> The Gwich'in are "caribou people," - the Porcupine caribou herd has been
the
> cornerstone of their culture and subsistence for 20,000 years. If the
> caribou herd declines because the calving grounds are disturbed by oil
> industrialization, the Gwich'in way of life will be jeopardized.
>
> For more information on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge please visit
> www.alaskawild.org, www.saveourcaribou.org or contact Jen Schmidt with the
> Alaska Wilderness League at (202) 544-5205 or jens@alaskawild.org
>
> BUSH NAMES INTERIOR AND ENERGY SECRETARIES
>
> President-elect George W. Bush has nominated two ardent proponents of
> drilling the Arctic Refuge, Gale Norton and former Senator Spencer
Abraham,
> to head the Interior and Energy Departments.  During the Reagan
> Administration, Gale Norton worked as one of Interior Secretary James
Watt's
> chief attorneys, serving as Associate Solicitor.  Among other things, she
> was reportedly instrumental in drafting the now infamous 1987 1002 report
> that recommended leasing the 1.5 million-acre Arctic Refuge coastal plain
> for oil development.  The draft version of that report, released in 1986,
> concluded that the Porcupine Caribou Herd (that calves in the coastal
plain)
> would decline or be displaced by up to 40 percent if drilling were
allowed.
> It is widely believed that Washington, D.C. Interior Department officials
> like Ms. Norton eliminated some of the most shocking conclusions made by
> Fish and Wildlife Service biologists before the final 1002 report was
> released in 1987 (although even the final report still included much
> information predicting major impacts on the wildlife and wilderness of the
> coastal plain if drilling were allowed).  At Bush's announcement naming
her,
> Norton quickly reiterated her support for drilling in the refuge, however
> she declined to discuss her role advocating drilling in the 1980's.
>
> Norton has also come under fire because of her work at a right wing
> "property rights" group called the Mountain States Legal Foundation, which
> was founded by Watt.  Her nomination has been praised by a host of special
> interests, including backers of mining, ranching, and damming federal
lands
> and waterways.
>
> Alaska Senator Frank Murkowski has already pledged his support for Norton,
> saying "She will protect the public lands, endangered species and improve
> parks and recreational opportunities for all Americans." (We guess that
> sounds better than saying drill, shoot, plow, and mine our federal lands
for
> all Americans.)
>
> In 1998, Norton chaired the so-called Coalition of Republican
Environmental
> Activists which Sierra Club and other environmental groups have called "an
> industry-funded sham."
>
> Many major national environmental organizations, including Sierra Club,
The
> Wilderness Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, and US PIRG, have
> already announced their opposition to Norton and have vowed to fight
against
> her Senate confirmation.
>
> There is also opposition to Bush's choice to head the Department of
Energy,
> although pragmatically, most expect former Michigan Senator Spencer
Abraham
> to be confirmed easily.  While Abraham has voted for drilling in the
Arctic
> Refuge several times and has consistently earned a "zero" for his
> environmental voting record from League of Conservation Voters, the
> Department of Energy makes no direct land management decisions (unlike
> Interior), so the damage Abraham can do is more limited than Norton's.
> Still, it is widely believed that Abraham, who was just defeated in his
bid
> for reelection by Representative Debbie Stabenow, lost because of his
> advocacy for drilling in the refuge and other anti-environmental measures.
> As a Senator, Abraham consistently opposed any effort to raise the fuel
> efficiency for cars and light trucks and opposed funding for renewable
> energy, specifically opposing an amendment to add $62 million to the
Energy
> Department's renewable energy program.  "They've run out of Champagne at
the
> American Petroleum Institute with all these nominations," including
Abraham
> and Norton, said The Wilderness Society's Ben Beach. "It doesn't get any
> better than this for them, so we've got our work cut out for us."
>
> The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold confirmation
> hearings for Secretary of Energy-Designate Spencer Abraham on Thursday,
> January 18, 9:00 a.m., SD-106 and on Secretary of Interior-Designate Gale
A.
> Norton on Thursday, January 18, 2:00 p.m., SD-106 and Friday, January 19,
> 9:00 a.m., SH-216 (if needed).
>
> ARCTIC MONUMENT CAMPAIGN IN HOME STRETCH
>
> California Senator Barbara Boxer this week countered claims made by
Interior
> Secretary Bruce Babbitt that designating the Arctic Refuge as a National
> Monument will not provide additional protection for the area.  In a letter
> to President Clinton, Boxer wrote:
>
>  "The 1.5 million-acre coastal plain does not enjoy the same legal
> protection as the rest of the Arctic Refuge.  Section 1002 of the Alaska
> National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) provided for further
> studies of the area's oil and gas potential.  As a result, the Reagan
> Administration instituted a very intrusive seismic exploration program.
The
> U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that the fragile tundra of the
> coastal plain has still not recovered from seismic vehicle scars left more
> than 15 years ago.
>
> By designating the Arctic Refuge as a National Monument, your Antiquities
> Act proclamation could forever erase the legal ambiguity surrounding the
> "1002 area."  The proclamation could also prevent a future Secretary of
> Interior from authorizing future seismic studies of the area.
>
> There also may be a range of other incompatible activities that the
Interior
> Department could allow in the coastal plain without the consent of
Congress,
> including staging and support facilities for offshore oil and gas leasing,
> pipeline crossings, and usage of the area's limited water resources for
> adjacent oil development.  A strong National Monument proclamation could
> thwart such efforts.
>
> It is true that some of my colleagues will argue that designating the
Arctic
> Refuge as a National Monument would be cause to rescind the Antiquities
Act,
> but these are generally Senators who also support oil drilling in the
Arctic
> Refuge and who have already sought unsuccessfully to weaken the
Antiquities
> Act several times.
>
> There is no greater stewardship test for our nation in the months ahead
than
> the fate of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  By acting to designate
the
> area as a National Monument, you will confer lasting legal protection for
> the incomparable wildlife and wilderness values of the Arctic Refuge."
>
> President Clinton has not made any further public comments on the Arctic
> monument since his interview with the Discovery Channel (see update 158)
> when he clearly kept the door open for such a proclamation.  The only
> dispute within the Administration seems to be over strategy.  Secretary
> Babbitt, for example, is adamantly opposed to drilling in the Arctic
Refuge,
> which he visited in 1993, but does not believe such a designation will
make
> Congress any less likely to consider drilling proposals.  To be sure,
there
> will be a major showdown in Congress over the Arctic Refuge, regardless of
> whether the president acts.  Still, the national conservation community is
> united in its belief that the refuge - and the Antiquities Act itself -
> would be easier to defend if Clinton acts.  After all, the Arctic Refuge
> enjoys broad bipartisan support.  An Arctic Monument would further raise
the
> profile of the issue and galvanize millions of Americans who care about
its
> fate. Many of the other National Monuments declared by President Clinton
do
> not have similar national constituencies.  If there is a congressional
> attack on the Antiquities Act, conservation groups believe it would be
> easier to mobilize opposition under the banner of the Arctic Refuge.
>
> President Clinton has until January 20 to declare a National Monument for
> the Arctic Refuge.
>
> BP FIXED PRICE OF OIL ON WEST COAST THROUGH EXPORTS
> Bellingham Herald AP wire
> January 6, 2001
>
> http://news.bellinghamherald.com/wire-frameset.html
>
> BP Accused of Spiking Gas Prices
>
> PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)  BP Amoco bumped up West Coast oil prices by exporting
> Alaskan crude to Asia for less than it could have sold it to U.S.
refiners,
> according to experts'  reports and court records obtained by The
Oregonian.
>
> Gas prices on the West Coast are among the highest in the nation, with
> Oregon motorists averaging $1.61 for regular unleaded  about 20 cents
above
> the national average.
>
> The documents, which the newspaper filed suit to obtain, were part of a
> Federal Trade Commission analysis of BP's proposed $26.8 billion buyout
last
> year of Atlantic Richfield
> Co.
>
> In a 1995 e-mail exchange described by the newspaper, BP managers Robert
> Aicher and Linda Adamany discussed ``shorting the West Coast market'' to
> achieve ``West Coast price uplift scenarios.''
>
> The e-mail describes shipping ANS to FE  Alaska North Slope crude to the
Far
> East to ``leverage up'' prices on the West Coast.
>
>   ``When they say 'leverage up,' what does that mean?'' said economist R.
> Preston McAfee, one of two experts hired by the FTC. ``It means, 'We're
> going to jack up the
> West Coast price by taking some of our production and selling it at a
lower
> price elsewhere.''
>
> McAfee and veteran engineer Steanson B. Parks, president of a consulting
> firm in Dallas, both concluded for the FTC that BP had tightened oil
> supplies to raise the price of millions of barrels of crude oil shipped to
> refineries in California and Washington state since 1996.
>
> The records were kept under seal in U.S. District Court in San Francisco
> after the FTC and the states of California, Oregon and Washington sued to
> block the merger last year.
>
> Regulators alleged the merger would eliminate Atlantic Richfield as one of
> BP's chief competitors in the exploration and production of Alaska crude
> oil; together they would own 72 percent of the 800-mile Trans-Alaska
> Pipeline.
>
> The suit was dropped after BP agreed to sell off Atlantic Richfield's
> Alaskan holdings to
> Phillips Petroleum for $7 billion, and the majority of the five-member
trade
> commission approved the merger in April.
>
> BP officials dispute the FTC experts' conclusions, deny the company
engaged
> in
> anticompetitive pricing and say the commission's approval of the merger
> speaks for itself.
>
>   ``What we did in terms of sales to the Far East was well within the
bounds
> of the law,''
> said Jennifer Ruys, a BP spokeswoman in New York. She said the company has
> halted its shipments to the Far East because it needs the crude for newly
> acquired refineries.
>
>  It's not clear how much BP's pricing strategy might have cost West Coast
> motorists. McAfee said he is bound by a court order that forbids the
> disclosure of confidential information and could not reveal his
calculation
> of how much BP raised prices to the West Coast, which consumes 2.6 million
> barrels of crude a day.
>
> It was ``more like 50 cents'' a barrel than several dollars, he said, when
> crude prices ranged from about $12 a barrel to more than $30. That
> translates to 1 to 3 cents a gallon at the gas pump, McAfee said.
>
> Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a member of the Senate Energy Committee and an
> opponent of the merger, said the newly disclosed records provide further
> evidence that Northwest motorists are getting a rough ride at the pump.
>
> Oil companies have blamed the Northwest's higher prices on OPEC cutbacks,
> refinery fires, taxes and pipeline disruptions.
>
> ACTIVIST RESOURCES
>
> Don't know who your Representative is? Find out at
> http://www.house.gov/writerep
>
> Have your members of Congress cosponsored H.R. 1239/S. 867? Check
> http://thomas.loc.gov/
>
> U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202.224.3121
>
> Senate Address: US Senate, Washington, DC 20510
>
> House Address: US House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515
>
> Contacting the President: President William J. Clinton, The White House,
> Washington DC 20500
>
> White House Comment Desk: TOLL FREE: 1-888-750-4897 or (202)-456-1111,
Fax:
> (202)-456-2461
>
>
Alison Horton
Michigan Sierra Club
<mackinac1@prodigy.net>
109 E. Grand River
Lansing, MI 48906
(517) 484-2372 (P)
(517) 484-3108 (F)>




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