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Monday, March 28, 2005

Are you unwittingly supporting ANWR drilling?

The public face of support for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is Arctic Power, a consortium of oil companies and interest groups in Alaska. But a little-known group behind them is an affiliated nonprofit called the Energy Stewardship Alliance. Its members include a number of mainstream organizations that may represent YOU.

Does their support for ANWR represent your views?

Among these groups is the National Assocation of Counties, a trade association that includes two-thirds of all county governments in America and 80 percent of the nation's population. Since one of the most recent national opinion polls shows that only 38 percent of Americans support ANWR drilling, there seems to be a major disconnect here.

Another member is the American Farm Bureau Federation, which strongly supports renewable, farm-grown alternative fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. President Bush and Republicans in Congress have given only token and reluctant support to such programs, while instead diverting the nation's attention and resources toward the limited oil under ANWR.

I could go on with examples like this. Other members are the National Black Chamber of Commerce, and senior citizens' organizations such as the 60 Plus Association and United Seniors Association.

The point is that Arctic Power and the Energy Stewardship Alliance are out there speaking for literally millions of Americans who simply do not share their views. If you belong to one of these groups, or your county does, you might want to let them know how you feel.