"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.

Source: npr, 01/04/2011