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Jane Goodall urges U.S. Senate to halt push to drill in Arctic refuge

From Reuters - November 14, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - British primatologist Jane Goodall sent a letter to every U.S. senator on Tuesday urging them to oppose a push in the U.S. Congress to allow oil drilling in Alaskas Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a region environmentalists say is one of the worlds last paradises.

The Republican-led Senate is trying to open up the 1002 region on the coastal plain of the ANWR, a region inhabited by Gwichin natives, caribou herds, polar bears and millions of birds that migrate to six of the worlds seven continents.

If we violate the Arctic Refuge by extracting the oil beneath the land, this will have devastating impact for the Gwichin people for they depend on the caribou herds to sustain their traditional way of life, Goodall said in the letter, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

The ANWRs very wildness speaks to our deeply rooted spiritual connection to nature, a necessary element of human psyche, wrote Goodall, best known for her study of chimpanzees in Tanzania.

Last week, a group of 37 U.S.-based scientists whose research focuses on Arctic wildlife asked senators to not open the ANWR, saying that drilling would be incompatible with the purposes for which the refuge was established.

The Senate energy committee on Wednesday will consider a bill spurred by Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska and the head of the panel, to hold at least two lease sales in the ANWR over the next 10 years.

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