The Call of the Wild
With just 18 days remaining in the Clinton administration, enviros have organized a nationwide call-in campaign today to urge Pres. Clinton to declare the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska a monument (hint: 1.888.750.4897). President-elect George W. Bush pledged in his campaign to try to open the Arctic Refuge to oil and gas drilling, and his nominees for Interior and Energy secretaries also favor such a policy shift. The last-ditch attempt by enviros seems unlikely to succeed as Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt hasn’t publicly thrown his weight into the effort. Other Interior officials have expressed concern that declaring the refuge a monument might prompt the Republican-controlled Congress to roll back past monument designations and eliminate the ability of future presidents to create monuments.