Bush administration opens up Alaska wildlife habitat to drilling

The Bush administration’s lust for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge having gone unrequited, it’s going to stick its derricks in some sloppy seconds: The Department of Interior is opening up hundreds of thousands of acres of other Alaskan wildlife habitat to drilling. The land around Teshekpuk Lake, about 200 miles west of the refuge, is part of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska; it may contain up to 2 billion barrels of “economically recoverable” oil and 3.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The area is so rich in migratory waterfowl and caribou that even the Reagan administration protected it, as did the Bush the Elder and Clinton administrations. Staff at the Bureau of Land Management say the decision to clear the way for drilling was made at the behest of Vice President Dick Cheney’s super-secretive energy task force, which never met an ecosystem it wouldn’t treat like a two-bit hooker.