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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

May 21, 2008

Contact: Kristina Johnson

Bush Administration Pushes to Open Wild Lands to Drilling
Proposal Offers No “Relief”, No Solutions

Today, the Bush administration once again called for more drilling on America’s public lands by implying that somehow doing so would lower gasoline prices. Following the release of a new Bureau of Land Management report on oil and gas, Interior Department officials are calling on Congress to open up our nation’s last undeveloped public lands to oil drilling.

Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope

Drilling in federally protected areas is not the answer to our energy problems and will do nothing to ease pain at the pump. It is telling that the Bush administration focuses on the percentage of oil and gas that is not currently available for drilling, rather than the oil and gas that is currently available. Opening protected areas will only offer “relief” to the oil industry which is already raking in billions of dollars in profit records.

The Bush administration’s "drill everything" policy does nothing to help American consumers. It only helps Big Oil. More drilling increases our dependence on fossil fuels, destroys natural treasures, and contributes to global warming. Drilling is a short-term fix for an addiction we need to end.

The honest answer to our oil problem is to use less of it, and that means better fuel efficiency, more transportation choices and more renewable energy. Instead of the failed policies of the past, we need to shift our priorities—and our policies—toward creating a clean energy economy. 

As summer driving season begins, Sierra Club’s tips on gas, and other energy issues can be found at

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