Editorial: Symbolism in ANWR debate

As the US economy falters, symbolism gains importance in the controversy over leasing of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain. That should help the leasing cause.For leasing opponents, the issue has always been symbolic. And the lofty perspective works. Congress has not approved leasing of the coastal plain and remains disinclined to do so.Environmental groups consider ANWR a benchmark political issue. To them, it's a token of success for a broader agenda oriented to forestalling economic activity in the name of environmental protection. And it's great for their fund-raising.So they portray ANWR as "pristine," a "wilderness," a "unique" national "treasure," the last o...

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