Published: Dec 04, 2010 10:02 PM EST
Updated: Dec 04, 2010 7:02 PM EST

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - President Obama is being urged to bestow national monument status on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for its 50th anniversary.

The nation's largest and most untamed refuge in Alaska's northeast corner also happens to be where there is an estimated 11 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
      
Proponents of drilling say only Congress can determine the fate of the refuge's coastal plain. But more than 80 members of Congress, 170 scientists, 22 religious organizations and hundreds of businesses and organizations disagree.
      
They have sent Obama letters urging him to take up his pen to mark the 50th anniversary Monday and make ANWR a national monument.

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