By Bob Marshall
One of the most persistent and effective threats to public fish and wildlife habitat is the energy lobby. They push for access to public lands--even wilderness and roadless areas--and then they push to demolish regulations that would make them be sensitive to fish and wildlife values on that public property.
And their most persuasive argument--visible everywhere during the current election season--is this: We need to drill more to lower the price at the pump.
In fact, the most effective tool America (and its politicians) have in reducing fuel costs is regulations that stress conservation.
That's not me talking. That's the word from energy economists--and always has been.
As the Associated Press explained in this excellent report, the U.S. could yield to the wildest demands from the "Drill Baby Drill" crowd--opening everything from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to every acre of public land, plus shipping dirty tar sands from Canada--and still not make a noticeable dent on the price of gas at your local filling station.