National Geographic : 2006 Sep
LETTERS was spent campaigning to change the way we consume energy, you would see real progress. Not only would we spare what pristine wilderness we have left, but by being more self-sufficient, with a variety of energy sources readily avail able to us, we would also be independent of foreign influ ence in shaping our vision of a strong and healthy world. JEANNIE PARKER Montrose, New York Your pictures are beautiful and tell a worthy story. I lived in Texas and now live in Cali fornia. As a Texan we pro duced a significant part of the nation's oil and gas. Yet you do not hear the outcry that oil has ruined the local Texas environment. The advantage of producing oil and gas in Alaska is solid. It produces worthwhile jobs and income to the Alaskans, and lessens the dependence on foreign oil. CHARLES HARPER La Habra, California As a 37-year Alaska resident I've been distressed by our congressional delegation's attempts to portray ANWR as barren and devoid of anything worthwhile, when quite the Corrections, Clarifications Allergy Misery (May 2006) Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal gland, not the pituitary gland, as stated on page 127. The pituitary gland starts the process by sending a signal to the adrenal gland to release the cortisol. Inside Geographic (May 2006) The roller coaster pictured on page 170 is not Dragon Khan in Salou, Spain. It is the Tizona coaster at the Terra Mitica amusement park in Benidorm, Spain. opposite is obvious. Your arti cle demonstrates both the error in their claims as well as the depths to which they will stoop in trying to sell Alaska to the oil industry. The spills, the demonstrated inability to deal with them, and the incredible fragility of an environment stressed by global warming argue against drilling. ART GREENWALT Fairbanks, Alaska Your story included a factual error about Alaska's North Slope oil development when it claimed, "There are no plans to clean up the place when the oil and gas are gone." On the contrary, Alaska's oil permits and leases include specific stringent rehabilitation stan dards. They require operators of economically played-out fields to remove all improve ments for development and to rehabilitate the land to the sat isfaction of the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. MICHAEL L. MENGE Commissioner Department of Natural Resources Juneau, Alaska Writer Joel Bourne replies: Under current state leases, oil companies have the right-not the obligation-to remove their equipment at the end of the lease. The state has the option of forcing them to remove any improvements and rehabilitate the land, or turn such improve ments-roads, pads, etc.-over to the state. Any rehabilitated lands must simply meet the "sat isfaction of the state." Despite repeated requests, Commission er Menge's office was unable to produce any "specific stringent rehabilitation standards. " "FOR THE INCREASE AND DIFFUSION OF GEOGRAPHIC KNOWLEDGE" The National Geographic Society is chartered in Washington, D.C., as a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. Since 1888 the Society has supported more than 8,000 explorations and research projects, adding to knowledge of earth, sea, and sky. JOHN M. FAHEY, JR., President and CEO EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENTS Terrence B. Adamson Linda Berkeley, President, Enterprises Terry D. Garcia, Mission Programs John Q. Griffin, President, Magazine Group Nina D. Hoffman, President, Books and School Publishing Group Christopher A. Liedel, CFO BOARD OF TRUSTEES Gilbert M. Grosvenor, Chairman Reg Murphy, Vice Chairman Joan Abrahamson, Michael R. Bonsignore, Martha E. Church, Roger A. Enrico, John M. Fahey, Jr., Daniel S. Goldin, John Jay Iselin, James C. Kautz, J. 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