[This is a guest post by Hank Green. -Ed] Though controversy has surrounded drilling on the north slope of Alaska for decades, and even more so since oil companies have faced problems with aging infrastructure, the Bush Administration is preparing to open a new, unexploited section of Alaska to oil exploration.
The area in question, a series of lakes and wetlands in the north-east corner of Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve, is known as the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area. The area is both ecologically and culturally sensitive and is one of the largest polar wetland complexes in the world. It was afforded 'Special Area' status by congress in the 1970's and then, under Ronald Reagan, the area was declared too ecologically and culturally sensitive to drill.Though the area has long seemed safe, the Bush Administration has been quietly pursuing a lease sale in Teshekpuk Lake and ConocoPhillips has expressed interest. Recently, the date for the sale was confirmed and set for September 27th.
A coalition of non-profit organizations, including the Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Alaska Wilderness League, have banded together to protect this area from development. The coalition's website, SaveTLake.org, is organizing a massive letter drive to the Secretary of the Interior, asking him to delay the September lease sale. See also: ::Bush to Allow More Drilling on Alaska’s North Slope
[This is a guest post by Hank Green. -Ed]