ANCHORAGE, Alaska—Rep. Edward Markey has reintroduced a bill to designate the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area.
If successful, the move would put the refuge - and its estimated 11 billion barrels of recoverable oil - beyond the reach of oil companies perhaps forever.
Massachusetts, has introduced his ANWR wilderness bill in every session of Congress since 2001. The bill would designate the refuge's oil-rich coastal plain as wilderness area.
Markey's bill this year comes soon after the refuge's 50th anniversary, and after the oil spill disaster last summer in the Gulf of Mexico. He says that spill has raised persistent concerns about the oil industry's ability to clean up spills.
Markey is the ranking Democratic member of the House Natural Resources Committee.