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Future of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge24:43
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photoFor more than 20 years, the oil industry has battled for permission to drill for oil in the 1.5 million acre coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in the Northeast corner of Alaska. Today, the oil men got their green light. In a narrow 51 to 49 split, the U.S. Senate effectively cleared the way to oil drilling in the Arctic refuge.

The vote marked a major victory for the Bush administration and its energy policy. It came as a huge blow to environmentalists who have fought long and hard to protect what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has called "one of the finest examples of wilderness left on the planet."

Hear a discussion about the future of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Guests:

Justin Blum, energy reporter, The Washington Post

Ken Boyd, former director, Alaska State Division of Oil & Gas

Mike Daulton, assistant director of government relations, National Audubon Society and lead lobbyist for the Arctic Refuge

Robert Kaufmann, professor at the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, Boston University.

This program aired on March 16, 2005.

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