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E-M:/ Sierra Club Campaign against Arctic Wildlife Refuge drilling

Sierra Club Currents ? Urgent Arctic Refuge Edition
Volume V, #44
Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Quote of Note:

"Since Hurricane Katrina, Pombo has been a one-man Category 5 environmental disaster zone."

-- Sacramento Bee editorial "The Pombo mambo: He's dancing to the tune of the drillers and the diggers," referring to House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo's efforts to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and America's coasts to drilling as part of the budget reconciliation bill.

(1) Arctic: Making Airwaves
(2) Oil Profits: Embarrassment of Riches
(3) Human Rights: Tuning in to the Gwich'in
(4) Action: Oppose Arctic Refuge Drilling

1. Arctic: Making Airwaves

With the Senate poised to vote on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as part of the budget reconciliation package this week and the House set to do the same next week, Sierra Club is joining other conservation groups for the "homestretch" of an intense campaign to save the Arctic. A key part of this effort is a slate of print, television, and radio ads running across the country this week and next from Maine to Oregon.

See the Sierra Club ads.

See the coalition ads.

2. Oil Profits: Embarrassment of Riches

While Americans have been emptying their wallets to keep up with record high gas prices, giant oil companies have been filling up their coffers with record high profits. According to last week's quarterly reports, Big Oil just got a whole lot bigger. ExxonMobil took the top prize, raking in $9.9 billion (up 75 %). BP and ConocoPhillips also enjoyed excessive profits -- $6.5 billion and $3.8 billion respectively. Now Congress is considering making these rich a whole lot richer, by giving them the keys to the Arctic for a pittance.

Read "Exxon Mobil Profit Soars 75%" in the Washington Post.

3. Human Rights: Tuning in to the Gwich'in

When Secretary of Interior Gale Norton went to the Arctic Refuge a few years ago, she described the landscape as "flat, white nothingness." Tell that to the Alaska natives who make their homes and carry out their subsistence way of life in the Refuge. The human rights implications of this destructive drilling are often overshadowed by debates about wildlife and gas prices. But a recent report by the Gwich'in Steering Committee outlines the drilling proposal threatens to violate internationally recognized human rights to culture, subsistence, health and religion of their people.

Learn more about the native cultures of the Arctic Refuge or download the new report.

4. Action: Oppose Arctic Refuge Drilling

Oil companies and their friends in Congress continue to try to use the Budget Process to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. They have attached a damaging drilling provision to the massive 2006 Budget Reconciliation package in an effort to limit public debate and circumvent normal congressional procedure. Drilling in the Arctic Refuge would spoil this last great wilderness for a speculative amount of oil. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy recently estimated that if we drilled for oil in the Refuge tomorrow, it would lower gas prices by roughly a penny per gallon...in 20 years.

The Senate began debate on Budget Reconciliation this afternoon and a final vote is expected by Thursday, November 3. PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATORS TODAY at the Capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121. Urge them to vote against any budget reconciliation bill that allows oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge!

Time is Running Out For the Arctic!

This could be our last chance to save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and our coasts from offshore oil drilling - the final vote is taking place as early as next week.

We urgently need your support to ensure our beautiful coasts, the Arctic Refuge and other threatened wildlands exist for generations to come.

Become a Sierra Club Member.

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