Congressman queries Clinton on ANWR intentions

Wednesday asked President Bill Clinton to confirm or deny rumors that he intends to designate the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain as a national monument. The coastal plain east of Prudhoe Bay field is believed to contain large oil reserves but cannot be leased unless authorized by Congress.

Jul 27th, 2000


Washington, DC�US Rep. Don Young (R-Alas.) Wednesday asked President Bill Clinton to confirm or deny rumors that he intends to designate the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain as a national monument. Young is chairman of the House Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal lands.

This year, Clinton has used his executive powers under the 1906 Antiquities Act to establish 10 national monuments. He reportedly is considering declaring monuments in ANWR's coastal plain and the Copper River Valley area.

The coastal plain east of Prudhoe Bay field is believed to contain large oil reserves but cannot be leased unless authorized by Congress.

In a letter to Clinton, Young noted that Sec. 1326 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act mandates that only Congress can designate monuments, wilderness areas, and refuges on federal lands in the Alaska. Young said the clause prohibits the president from even studying or considering the designation of more conservation areas like national monuments unless Congress explicitly authorizes it.

Young said, "The president is flatly prohibited from even considering the creation of a new monument under the 1906 Antiquities Act in Alaska as he has done in the Lower 48 States. I'm formally putting him on notice that he stands in stark violation of Federal law if he intends to create a monument in my state."

More in Reserves