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E-M:/ ARCTIC AWARD FOR SEN STABENOW AND LEVIN



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Enviro-Mich message from "Daniel Farough" <daniel.farough@sierraclub.org>
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NEWS FROM THE ALASKA COALITION OF MICHIGAN

109 East Grand River
Lansing, MI 48906
Ph: 517-484-2372 Fax: 517-484-3108

For Immediate Release				Contact: Dan Farough
Monday, January 21, 2002				Ph:517-484-2372


SENATORS STABENOW AND LEVIN RECEIVE
‘ARCTIC DEFENDER AWARD’

COALITION OF LABOR, FAITH AND ENVIRONMENT PRAISE MI SENATORS

LANSING – The Alaska Coalition of Michigan presented Senators Levin and
Stabenow with the prestigious ‘Arctic Defender Award’ today to honor them
for their outstanding effort to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
from oil drilling.  The Senators were chosen as the result of the hard
energy fight in the Senate this past fall.

“Senators Stabenow and Levin faced relentless pressure from energy interests
to open up special places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the
Great Lakes to the drill,” said Jay McMurran, Political Director of the
Michigan Steelworkers International Union.  “I can say with pride that our
Senators have been equally relentless in defense of our special places.”

Throughout 2001 energy interests and their supporters in congress attempted
to pass a controversial energy plan that placed a premium on expanding
domestic oil exploitation in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, National
Monuments and other areas like the Great Lakes.  After September 11th, the
Senate in particular faced a series of rider efforts to open the refuge to
drilling by attaching it to disaster relief, defense appropriations, and
airline worker assistance packages among others.  All these rider efforts
failed.

"We need to keep fighting to protect our Great Lakes and the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge,” said Senator Carl Levin.  “Organizations such as the
Alaska Coalition of Michigan make our job easier on Capitol Hill by raising
awareness on how crucial it is to preserve these national jewels. I thank
all the members of the coalition for honoring me with the Arctic Defender
Award."

"I am honored to accept this award," said Senator Debbie Stabenow. "Drilling
in the Great Lakes is a short-sighted approach with risks that far outweigh
any benefits. We took one big step toward protecting our waters when
President Bush signed into law my two-year ban on Great Lakes drilling. Now,
we must do all we can to safeguard the precious resources in the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge. I am proud of the progress we have made and look
forward to future efforts to protect our nation's irreplaceable resources."

Surrounding the Senators were members of the coalition and students who
worked tirelessly to get word to the public of the battle being waged in
congress over the future of the Refuge “Our Senators were truly outstanding
this past fall,” said Dan Farough, Director of the Alaska Coalition of
Michigan.  “Every one of our groups, from the UAW to the National Wildlife
Federation thanks you for standing strong in the face of enormous pressure.
This award was hard earned and is truly deserved.”

The Senators pledged to remain vigilant in protecting the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge in February when energy again takes center stage as Senator
Daschle’s plan squares off against the House Bill backed by energy
interests.

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The Alaska Coalition of Michigan is made up of over 15 environmental, labor
and faith organizations, including the Michigan Steelworkers International
Union, the Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter, PIRGIM, United Auto Workers,
Michigan Republicans for Environmental Protection, Michigan Communications
Workers of America, Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan League of
Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation, St. Peters Episcopal
Church, National Environmental Trust, Southeast Michigan Coalition on the
Environment and Jewish Life, Michigan Land Use Institute, Church of the
Resurrection, Ecology Center, Friends of the Rouge, East Michigan
Environmental Action Council.



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