Today Show's Misleading ANWR Mountains

In reporting what it called a "big win" for Senate Democrats in killing off drilling in ANWR, this morning's Today show aired footage of gorgeous snow-capped mountains, similar to the file photo to the right.

There's only one little problem.  The drilling in ANWR won't take place anywhere near those mountains. 

It will occur on barren coastal plains far away.  A few years ago, attempting to break through the ice-jam of blather over the issue, the National Review's Jonah Goldberg took a trip up there himself.  Here's one of the photos Jonah took, giving an idea of the area in which drilling would take place.  Them's some mighty small mountains!

It's been stated many times before, but bears [bad pun intended] repeating.  As described in this Fox News article:

"ANWR comprises 19 million acres in Northeast Alaska, 17.5 million of which are totally off-limits to drilling or any other kind of economic activity. This is why the news footage showing beautiful snowcapped mountains is misleading, because the drilling would not be allowed anywhere near those areas.

"Only the flat and featureless coastal plain would be affected, and even there only a small portion of its 1.5 million acres. The current version of the bill limits the surface disturbance to 2,000 acres, a small piece of a big coastal plain in a very big wildlife refuge in the biggest state in the Union.ANWR comprises over 19 million acres."

So Today, how about laying off the heart-wrenching pix and giving viewers the reality of proposed ANWR exploration?

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.