Stage could be set for additional drilling
An internal Interior Department memo has proposed lifting restrictions on exploratory seismic studies in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a possible first step toward opening the pristine wilderness to oil and gas drilling. The document proposes ending a restriction that had limited exploratory drilling to the period from Oct. 1, 1984, to May 31, 1986. It also directs the agency to provide an environmental assessment and a proposed rule allowing for new exploration plans. The document, a copy of which was obtained by the New York Times, was first reported by the Washington Post. The Arctic refuge, which covers more than 30,000 square miles, has been closed to commercial drilling for decades because of concerns about the impact on polar bears, caribou and other animals.
PENNSYLVANIA: A son of former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky pleaded guilty Friday to charges he pressured a teenage girl to send him naked photos and asked her teen sister to give him oral sex. Jeffrey Sandusky’s plea deal comes a week before his trial was slated to begin on the charges, and nearly six years after his father was arrested in a child molestation case that shook Penn State and is still working its way through criminal and civil courts. As part of the deal, 41year-old Sandusky will spend up to six years in state prison, but the judge could impose as much as eight years.