The optimist in me thinks it's too early to mourn the demise of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The realist in me - who knows the power Republicans hold to ramrod legislation through Congress - is starting to come to grips with the fact that the time to mourn may not be too far off.
Perhaps it's just a matter of something so simple as a definition; perhaps Republicans, who despise public education and disdain anything that smacks of intellectualism, are ignorant of the definition of "refuge." Maybe this will help:
1. An area set aside for the purpose of conserving species and their habitat.More likely, this is just another Republican sop to their sugar-daddies in the oil industry. The paltry amount of oil available in ANWR (6 billion barrels - or less than 21 months at January's consumption rate), and the amount of time it would take to get commercial quantities flowing (I've seen estimates from 2 years to 10 years) can in no way compensate for the amount of damage this pristine wilderness area will suffer.
2. A place that offers protection or shelter. (This from the Fish & Wildlife Service)
In other words, like much else that Republicans have done or would like to do, they are doing this because they can, for spite, for plain meanness.