As a congressional vote on whether to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge nears, Friends of Animals joined activists from across the nation at a Washington, D.C. rally on the Capitol lawn 20 September. The theme of the rally was “Don’t drill, storm Capitol Hill.”

Activists heeded the call, going en masse to the halls of Capitol Hill to tell lawmakers that we will never be able to drill our way to energy independence, and that we must protect the coastal plain in its natural state.


The Refuge provides a home for more than 200 species of birds and other animals including Tundra swans, caribou, polar bears, grizzly bears and wolves. In the next couple of months, Congress will vote on whether to open the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge to oil exploration and drilling.

The coastal plain is void of the damage, and obtrusiveness of steel oil pipelines, gravel roads, exploration equipment, drilling rigs, processing stations, air strips and contamination from spills which exist in nearby Prudhoe Bay. This unique wilderness exists almost nowhere else.

The lineup of speakers who championed protection for the refuge included environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Lincoln Chafee(R-RI), Joseph Lieberman, (D-CT), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Representative Edward Markey (D-MA). A call was issued to Congress to decrease our dependence on oil by exploring alternate energy sources, conserving and raising fuel efficiency standards.

After the rally, activists headed up the steps of the Capitol to lobby their congressional representatives about the upcoming vote. Please join us in this lobby effort; act now to save this pristine land and the animals that call this refuge home. Tell your Senators and Representative to oppose all efforts to open the refuge to drilling.

You can locate your Senators and Representatives at

The Honorable ________
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121

The Honorable ________
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Congressional Switchboard 202-224-3121