Statement of Rodger Schlickeisen, President, Defenders of Wildlife, on Rally for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

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Rally for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

(02/02/2005) - WASHINGTON -- "Thank you for coming out on a bright, chilly day. This is Alaska caribou weather!

"This is a day to make some noise in protest against George Bush's plan to essentially privatize the coastal plain of America's most remarkable wildlife refuge. He is effectively proposing to privatize the Arctic Refuge by giving control of it to Exxon and other Big Oil corporations. We need the president and his allies to know that the American public doesn't want them to privatize our public lands, and especially not the Arctic Refuge. We want the Senate to know that, and we want the House of Representatives to know that.

"We want George Bush up Pennsylvania Avenue to know.

"We want those outside the Beltway and across the country to know.

"We want everyone from Florida to Alaska to know.

"And it will help if a few key Senators, like those from far off Hawaii, know that we don't want George Bush to privatize the Arctic Refuge.

"And one more thing we want everyone to know: Those who say we can't stop drilling in the Arctic Refuge this year are dead wrong.

"With champions in Congress like Senator Lieberman and Congressman Markey, and so many others, we know we will win this fight again for the American people.

"Senator Lieberman, Congressman Markey and all of our champions on Capitol Hill deserve our thanks for fighting so hard to stop George Bush from privatizing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Let's give them a cheer that they'll hear all the way to Alaska!"

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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 480,000 members and supporters, 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.

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Contact(s):

Brad DeVries, (202) 772-0237
William Lutz, (202) 772-0269

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