The White House said yesterday that President Clinton will not designate the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska as a national monument because he believe that the area is already protected from oil and gas drilling. President-elect Bush and his nominees for Interior and Energy secretaries vigorously support drilling in the refuge. Enviros have been pressing Clinton since the presidential election to add protections to the 19 million-acre area. But a White House spokesperson said that the current status of the refuge means that it would already take an act of Congress to allow drilling and that a monument designation wouldn’t give the area any more legal protection. The Clinton administration thinks that the divided Congress would be unlikely to vote to allow drilling, but that conferring monument status on the refuge would needlessly energize conservatives who want to repeal the 1906 law granting presidents the power to name monuments in the first place.