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Alaskan Oil: Follow the Money, Follow the Herds

April 19, 2002

The answers to the questions raised in the April 15 editorial "Misspent Alaska Crusade" are found on the front page of the same newspaper. "Alaskans Pin Hopes on Drilling in Refuge" states that Alaskans have no state income tax but every man, woman and child received $1,850.28 from the state last October. Prudhoe Bay is sending less oil each year and may soon run dry. From the Alaskan perspective the best solution is to drill more wells; better to preserve the current standard of living at any cost than to preserve the delicate ecology to please the lower 48.

Margaret Morgan



I have been exploring for oil on the North Slope of Alaska since 1949. There is a great deal of wildlife over the entire North Slope, not just in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I am willing to wager there is far more wildlife outside of the refuge than there is inside. No one can keep the wildlife within the refuge, as it wanders all over the North Slope.

I have watched caribou take almost a week to migrate in, around and through our seismic exploration camp near the Colville River, north of the Brooks Range Mountains. One cannot keep the caribou within ANWR and try to protect them in this ridiculous way.

George Erich

Geophysical Exploration

Consultant, Norwalk


Words deceive. To produce our own oil to achieve energy independence sounds good. But oil is not produced, it is extracted. Extracted and eventually depleted. So how does this sound: "Achieve energy independence by depleting our own reserves"? Somehow I don't think it would fly.

And yet it is a far more truthful version of the proposal than any talk of production and shows the proposal for the fallacy that it is. Actually, we should use every drop of foreign oil we can and save our own for when we really need it (and when it costs 10 times as much as it does now).

Even better, why not save all oil for its irreplaceable role in the manufacturing of plastics and lubricants and work day and night to get our energy from alcohol, hydrogen, wind, solar and other renewables?

Richard Brodie

Pacific Palisades

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