Hands off the refuge | AspenTimes.com

Hands off the refuge

Dear Editor:(This letter was originally addressed to Colorado Sens. Ken Salazar and Wayne Allard.)I’m writing to urge you to vote no on allowing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I understand a measure to this effect is written into a budget bill that will go before the Senate this week.Some places are more valuable for their ecological attributes than for the resources that could be extracted from them. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one such place.No doubt we could drill the entire surface of the Earth with oil and gas wells and manage to eke out another few years or even decades of petro-energy. We would be left with an ecologically impoverished planet, a polluted atmosphere and a bad economic hangover. In our addiction to oil, we’re like an alcoholic ransacking his house for that last bottle of hootch. We’re going to have to quit the oil habit eventually – the sooner we force ourselves to find alternatives, the less painful the transition will be.In the meantime, let’s put special places like ANWR off-limits from our ransacking. That way we’ll still have a planet worth living in when the oil age is over.Dave ReedCarbondale

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