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Wednesday, March 16

The Bulletin for Environmental Activists

And this from NRDC's EARTH ACTION (earthaction@nrdcaction.org)
1. ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Yesterday we sent an emergency alert asking you to urge your senators to vote to remove language from the budget resolution that would allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. You swamped the Senate with almost 30,000 messages in just a few hours, but we are heartbroken to have to report that, just a few hours ago, the effort to remove the Arctic drilling provision failed by a vote of 49-51.

The following is a statement by NRDC's legislative director Karen Wayland: "Drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge won't make a dent in gas prices at the pump or break our dependence on Middle East oil. This was really a vote for Big Oil, not for the solid majority of Americans who oppose turning America's last great wilderness into a vast, polluted oil field. President Bush and his Senate allies resorted to a sneaky budget maneuver to get their way. Now, Congress is one step closer to trading away an irreplaceable national treasure for a few drops of oil that we wouldn't see for a decade or more. If the oil industry can drill in the Arctic Refuge, then no place, no matter how pristine, will be safe. But there is still have a lot of political tundra to cross before this fight is over. We'll keep battling them every step of the way."
Although this is a hugely discouraging loss for all of us, as Karen notes, the battle is far from over. We'll be in touch very soon to let you know the next time we need you to raise your voice in defense of this national treasure (thankfully, Congress is about to recess for the next two weeks, so we all have time to catch our breaths as we prepare for the next round). Thanks to each and every one of you for your continued help and support in this fight.

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