"Battle Heats Up Over Alaskan Petroleum Reserve"

"The battle over whether oil companies should be allowed to drill in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is nothing new — but the fight over nearby public land called the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska is.

The NPRA is huge — about the size of Indiana. Originally, it was set aside for the military, then in the 1970s it was reserved for domestic oil production.

Today, there are a few native villages in the NPRA, and about 30 wells have been drilled there — but it is mostly undisturbed.

The federal government is working on a plan to guide future drilling there, but environmental groups want some of the reserve set aside as wilderness."

Jeff Brady reports for NPR's All Things Considered January 3, 2011.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011