Secretary Norton's Visit to Alaska Highlights Threats to National Parks

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   June 18, 2001
Contact:   Joan Frankevich, National Parks Conservation Association, 907-277-6722


Secretary Norton's Visit to Alaska Highlights Threats to National Parks

- Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton will be in Alaska this week to visit a variety of sites, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in part to gain support for oil and gas drilling in this pristine wilderness, an energy strategy that is destructive to the refuge and opposed in Congress and by the majority of the American public, according to recent polls.

The Administration's insistence upon erecting oil wells in this fragile wilderness, the last 100-mile stretch of Alaska coast not subject to oil and gas development, is alarming. But then, this is the same Administration that is continuing to hold closed-door meetings with the snowmobile industry to reopen the wilderness heart of Denali National Park to polluting thrill-ride vehicles. If our national parks are getting such short shrift from the Administration, it's no wonder that the Administration doesn't share the American public's desire to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is subject to weaker protection than are national parks. The National Parks Conservation Association is confident, however, that the refuge will remain pristine if the will of the American people takes precedence over the Administration's commitment to drilling the refuge and lining the pockets of a few chosen members of the petroleum industry.

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