Bush administration will open 8 million Alaskan acres to oil drilling

As only makes sense following a disaster in northern Alaska involving oil spills and corroded pipelines, the Bush administration next month plans to open 8 million northwestern Alaska acres to oil and natural gas development. The area, in the National Petroleum Reserve, contains “a significant amount of oil that will help decrease our dependence on imported oil,” says Julia Dougan of the Bureau of Land Management, by which she meant, “dude, we’re jonesing.” Included are 373,000 acres near wetland-rich Teshekpuk Lake, which is also hunting grounds for native Inupiat residents. “The Teshekpuk Lake area is biologically rich nursery grounds for birds from many continents and mammals which sustain our Inupiat families and communities, and must be protected from leasing activities,” says resident Rosemary Ahtuangaruak. As the U.S. is a democracy, we’re sure the concerns of the Inupiat will be given full and careful consideration while the first wells are being dug.