Gasoline is almost $4 per gallon and many people have had to restrict the use of their cars. I have, and it is not necessary. The Democrats in Congress, with the help of the Republicans-in-name-only, have done it to us all with their regulations that produce economic strangulation.

There are millions and millions of barrels of oil under the Arctic off the north slope of Alaska, but the Democrats, with the help of Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, have consistently voted to lock up that oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. They do it in the name of preserving a “pristine wilderness.” But let’s look at the facts.

Wildlife, such as polar bears, reindeer and migratory birds, have not suffered because of oil extraction operations at Prudhoe Bay, west of the ANWR. Probably the vast mosquito population has also survived. Even the native Eskimo population favors more oil well drilling.

Alaska has nearly 600,000 square miles of land area. That includes an enormous wilderness of tremendous variety. Oil drilling operations in a very small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would produce extremely significant quantities of petroleum with absolutely no significant impact on the wildlife. Imagine a postage stamp on a football field, that would be the size of the environmental impact on Alaska if oil drilling operations had been allowed.

For years, Democrats and Snowe and Collins have voted to lock that oil up. They prefer to have oil imported from the Middle East.

Shame, Shame.

Harvey Lord, South Paris

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