To the editor,
With someone so beholden to the oil industry, it should not be a surprise
that a jury found Senator Ted Stevens guilty of failing to report gifts by the
oil company Veco, for which Stevens has worked to give massive contracts.
With Stevens being the main proponent of drilling in the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge, those favoring such a horrific move should reconsider their
position. The facts are clear that
we need to protect the last five percent of the North Slope of Alaska that is
the biological heart of the last intact Arctic ecosystem with a free ranging
caribou herd left in the world. The
123,000 caribou feed the Gwich’in Nation as well as the Inupiat peoples.
The Gwich’in are caribou people, and have lived off the Porcupine
Caribou herd for tens of thousands of years.
That is the herd that breeds on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
coastal plain, right where people like convicted felon Ted Stevens want to drill
for oil. Currently, oil companies
have not developed more than 85 percent of the land that they have already
leased. There is plenty of oil there
until we make the fast needed transition to renewable energy.
They are trying to get the last five percent while President George Bush
is in office, because they realize that no one else will likely be corrupt
enough to go along with such a disastrous move.
In my first personal encounter with Ted Stevens at a public meeting in
Instead, Inupiat leader Robert Thompson presented him with a petition of
the majority of residents opposing drilling.
Stevens told the group that Congress had promised him drilling.
I began to shake my head in disagreement.
Having written two books on the subject, I knew this was not true.
Stevens stopped the meeting and said in a raised, stern voice: “if you
don’t stop shaking your head, I will have you removed from this meeting.
I will have you removed from this meeting if you don’t stop shaking
We must insist upon the removal of Ted Stevens from the Senate.
Rather than more drilling, we must demand massive investment in energy
efficiency, solar and wind power to create good, clean sustainable jobs and do
something about the climate crisis: by far the most important issue of our time.
Kister is the Author of Arctic Quest: Odyssey Through a Threatened Wilderness Area; Arctic Melting: How Climate Change is Destroying One of the World’s Largest Wilderness Areas and Against All Odds: The Struggle to Save The Ridges. He is also the producer of the 2006 film, Caribou People. The second edition of Arctic Melting is coming out soon, with 100+ more pages and thoroughly updated throughout.
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