Forgive the Sacrilege, But We Need the Oil

Times editorial columnist Bruce Ramsey argues that we should drill for the oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge because we need it and the pipeline is there.

Published: 23-Mar-2005

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Sometime in the next few years we will need to drill in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. I suggest this even though so many consider it a sacrilege, like digging for treasure in a church.

The most eloquent local proponent of the sacrilege view is Joel Connelly at the Seattle P-I. Connelly writes of his trip to the tundra, where he saw some caribou and musk oxen and heard the trilling notes of a golden plover. He quotes Justice William O. Douglas on the Arctic as a setting for a "restless soul" to "behold with wonderment." That setting must exist, the justice said, "without molestation by man."

These are religious sentiments. I hesitate before asking to drill in the other fellow's church, but it is my oil at least as much as it is his church. And our civilization needs the oil.

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