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E-M:/ Ammunition for those writing their Senators Energy issues



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Enviro-Mich message from Billy Stern <billysun@chorus.net>
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Ammunition for those writing their Senators Energy issues.

AmeriScan: March 5, 2002

OIL DRILLING CONTAMINATES KENAI REFUGE

WASHINGTON, DC, March 5, 2002 (ENS) - Oil drilling in the Kenai 
National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska has resulted in more than 350 
spills, explosions and fires, according to government studies 
released by the National Audubon Society and Defenders of Wildlife.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) studies also found that 
oil drilling is linked with high numbers of deformed wood frogs.

The groups' report, "Toxic Tundra," details a contaminants study and 
a frog study, which was obtained through the Freedom of Information 
Act. The studies point to the need for further study of damage caused 
by oil production in Kenai and other National Wildlife Refuges, as 
well as the importance of keeping industrial development out of the 
pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the groups say.

"In spite of all the industry's promises, oil drilling in Kenai and 
other national wildlife refuges has left behind a disgraceful legacy 
of contamination, toxic chemical spills, and lasting damage to 
wildlife and wildlife habitat," said Robert Dewey, vice president for 
government relations at Defenders of Wildlife. "With such a sorry 
record, does anyone honestly believe the oil companies' fatuous 
claims that they'll do better next time, if we just throw open the 
doors to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?"

Established in 1941 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to protect 
the large population of moose on the Kenai Peninsula, the Kenai 
National Wildlife Refuge provides habitat for 200 species of birds 
and wildlife, including bald eagles, trumpeter swans, brown and black 
bear, caribou and wolves.

Industrial oil development within the refuge includes almost 200 
wells within three oil and gas fields that total 30 square miles. The 
wells are supported by 46 miles of oil and gas feeder pipelines, a 
3,500 foot airstrip, 44 miles of roads and more than 60 individual 
well pads.

"More than 270,000 gallons of oil, produced water and other 
contaminants have been released into the wildlife refuge," the report 
notes. "Groundwater in some areas of the wildlife refuge shows 
contamination at 10 times the legal limit established by the 
Environmental Protection Agency."

"Oil drilling in a national wildlife refuge is simply an awful idea," 
said Lois Schiffer, Audubon's senior vice president for public 
policy. "There can be no question, in light of these studies, that 
oil drilling would be a disaster for the Arctic National Wildlife 
Refuge."

The analysis by Audubon and Defenders of Wildlife is available at: 
http://www.defenders.org/habitat/toxictundra.pdf


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