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LETTERS: Concerns about drilling in Arctic Refuge are overblown

Eneliko Smith’s Monday letter on energy exploration starts with statements on fracking that have no basis in fact. Even President Barack Obama’s EPA could find no correlation or causation between fracking and any environmental impact. Mr. Smith then goes on to actually state two facts. There are nearly 20 million acres in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the coastal plain comprises 1.5 million acres. What he neglects to mention is that these “majestic lands” are pretty much uninhabitable by animals and humans during the summer months because of the incredibly dense population of mosquitos and the lack of roads due to the soft terrain.

Additionally, the area that has been approved by Congress for oil exploration is a grand total of 2,000 acres out of the 1.5 million acres in the coastal plain. That is approximately three square miles and represents the land occupied by any major airport. To say that we can’t allow oil exploration on 1/1000th of 1 percent of the Alaska coastal plain to aid in our energy independence from the Middle East is ridiculous.

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