Arctic Drilling Opponents Stand Firm -- Reject Attempts to Link Drilling to Blackouts

Reject Attempts to Link Drilling to Blackouts

(09/16/2003) - WASHINGTON, DC – With Senators lining up today to once again express their opposition to opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, Defenders of Wildlife President Rodger Schlickeisen praised the Senators’ stand and rejected cynical attempts to portray drilling in the refuge as an answer to our nation’s energy problems.

"Proponents of drilling in the Arctic Refuge continue to perpetuate the myth that destroying this pristine wilderness is essential to our energy needs. Nothing could be further from the truth," said Schlickeisen. "It will take ten years of drilling in the refuge to produce a mere six months worth of oil, which will not prevent any blackout, let alone solve our energy needs."

"The public opposes drilling in the Arctic Refuge. Last March, a bi-partisan majority of Senators also rejected the policy. Those that seek to open the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling now are engaged in an opportunistic attempt to use the recent blackout to sneak through a proposal that does not have the support of the American public." stated Schlickeisen.

Last March, a bipartisan majority in the Senate rejected Arctic Refuge drilling, for the second time in less than a year. Now, many of those same Senators have signed onto a letter by Senators Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) and Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) confirming that they will not vote for any omnibus energy legislation that includes Arctic Refuge drilling. Several GOP Senators have signed onto a similar letter by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).


Defenders of Wildlife is a leading nonprofit conservation organization recognized as one of the nation's most progressive advocates for wildlife and its habitat. With more than 430,000 members and supporters, 90,000 in California alone, Defenders of Wildlife is an effective leader on endangered species issues. To stay current on hot topics in wildlife conservation, subscribe to DENlines, Defenders of Wildlife’s electronic update and action alert network. To subscribe to DENlines or for more information on Defenders of Wildlife projects, please visit



Brad DeVries, (202) 772-0237