Arctic Refuge should not be opened to drilling, poll finds.

It is pleasing to learn of new national polling in the US conducted over the past week that found  55 percent of those polled supported continued protection for the Arctic Refuge, while only 36 percent favoured opening the Refuge to drilling.

The Arctic Refuge is a pristine environment housing 250 species including caribou, grizzly bears, musk oxen, threatened polar bears, and tens of thousands of migratory birds and is critical to the Gwich’in people who rely on the Refuge as a source for their subsistence culture.  It has been a target for those advocating drilling and as gas prices have risen in recent weeks these calls have intensified.

Here is a summary of the findings:

1. A majority, 74 percent said that investing in new energy technology, renewable fuels, and more efficient cars is a better way to address energy prices for long term needs than relying on more drilling for a limited amount of oil.

2. A majority, 53 percent believe drilling in the Refuge will have no effect on the price they pay at the gas pump.

3. Some 56 percent of those polled said Congress should not allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge agreeing with the argument that “this is one of the most valuable wilderness areas left in the the U.S. and it would be permanently damaged by drilling.”

4. A majority, 68 percent of those polled  believed that there is no reason to open more Alaskan wilderness to drilling given that oil companies have not drilled in the acres already available to them.

(The poll, conducted by Washington, D.C., research firm Belden Russonello & Stewart, surveyed 817 adults between June 26 and 30, 2008)

Commenting on the results, William H. Meadows, President of The Wilderness Society, said:

” protecting America’s public lands and waters for future generations has been a cornerstone of our American values since the first national parks and wildlife refuges were created in the late 1800’s. It is extremely gratifying to see that these national values remain strong in the face of the current energy challenges being faced by the American public.”


Caribou are just some of the many species that live in the pristine environment of the Arctic Refuge.

Caribou in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Source: U.S Fish and Wildlife Service-Alaska.

~ by abstraktbiblos on Friday, 4 July, 2008.

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