Teshekpuk Lake is part of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, located in America’s Western Arctic. The Reserve was established in 1923 by President Warren Harding and was designated for use by the military during emergencies. Over the next several decades – even as our country went through a World War and an oil shortage crisis – our leaders agreed that Teshekpuk Lake and the other special areas of the Reserve were too special to exploit.
In 1976, Congress passed the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act, which directed the Secretary of the Interior to create special areas in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
The following year, Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus established the fragile wetlands surrounding Teshekpuk Lake as the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area. This designation meant that the wildlife, subsistence and cultural values must receive maximum protection under any future development scenario. Until recently, it was enough to protect these pristine places.
The Bush administration has made clear its intention to turn the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area into a giant network of drilling platforms, gravel roads, airstrips and pipelines. Thanks to the 2005 Energy Policy Act, oil companies can be assured they would be heftily subsidized by taxpayer dollars to drill in places like the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area.
We cannot let this happen. We need all Americans who care about our country’s national heritage – today – to send letters to the Department of the Interior, asking for full protections for the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area.
Send a Letter
To the Bureau of Land Management