Alaskan Oil and Wildlife: It's Not Either-Or

Publication: CNN

Author: Rebecca W. Rimel and Dale Hall


09/27/2012 - Who says we can't strike a balance between energy exploration and wildlife protection?

For years, a false either/or argument has stalled progress in Washington on energy development. But now we have a chance to both develop and protect one of our nation's natural treasures.

Lying west of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and roughly the size of Indiana, the nearly 23 million-acre National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska supports a stunning diversity and abundance of wildlife considered globally significant by scientists. The region also contains hundreds of millions of barrels of oil. Given today's polarized politics, is it possible to protect these lands while tapping their resources?

Emphatically yes. For proof, look no farther than the August 13 announcement by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar of a strategic plan that provides a responsible and equitable approach to managing the reserve.

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Read the full op-ed, Alaskan Oil and Wildlife: It's not Either/Or, on the CNN website.

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