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Senate Takes Shocking Step to Open Arctic Refuge to Oil & Gas Drilling

October 20, 2017

Last night, the U.S. Senate took a shocking step towards opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling. In a vote of 52 to 48, with one Democrat (Sen. Manchin, D-WV) joining all but one Republican (Sen. Collins, R-ME), the Senate voted to allow the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to move forward in creating legislation to open the refuge to drilling.

“We’ve lost a battle, but we haven’t lost the war,” said Geoffrey Haskett, President of the National Wildlife Refuge Association. “While this was a devastating blow, we will still have one more opportunity to stop the pro-drilling special interests from despoiling one of the most biologically important places on the planet.”

Not since 1995, when President Clinton vetoed a budget in order to protect the Arctic NWR, has the refuge come this close to having wells and destructive infrastructure on its pristine lands. The Arctic Refuge is now just ONE vote away from looking like Prudhoe Bay (see photo).

Prudhoe Bay was created at the same time the Arctic Refuge was expanded and much of the refuge was given Wilderness status – the highest protection afforded to public land in the United States. Opening Prudoe Bay to drilling was the compromise and allowed commercial extraction to occur in exchange for protecting the Arctic NWR. The U.S. Senate has just taken a leap to reverse nearly 60 years of protections and the above photo is an example of what will occur should the Arctic Refuge be opened to drilling. The U.S. Senate should honor this agreement and abandon this effort to reverse 60 years of public policy and commitment. Pam Miller, TWS
Prudhoe Bay was created at the same time the Arctic Refuge was expanded and much of the refuge was given Wilderness status – the highest protection afforded to public land in the United States. Opening Prudoe Bay to drilling was the compromise and allowed commercial extraction to occur in exchange for protecting the Arctic NWR. The U.S. Senate has just taken a leap to reverse nearly 60 years of protections and the above photo is an example of what will occur should the Arctic Refuge be opened to drilling. The U.S. Senate should honor this agreement and abandon this effort to reverse 60 years of public policy and commitment. Pam Miller, TWS

 

We can stop this before the Arctic Refuge becomes an industrial wasteland but only with the help of concerned citizens nationwide!

What can you do?

  1. If you live in Maine please thank Senator Susan Collins for her vote to protect the Arctic Refuge last night and encourage her to keep protecting it. If you have friends or family who live in Maine, please encourage them to contact her as well.
  2. If you live in West Virginia or Arizona, please contact either Senator Manchin (D-WV) or Senator McCain (R-AZ) and let them know how disappointed you are about their vote to open the Arctic NWR in the Budget Resolution. If you have friends or family who live in West Virginia or Arizona, please encourage them to contact their Senators as well.
  3. For all other states, please contact both of your U.S. Senators as well and either thank them for voting to protect the refuge or let them know your disappointment and urge them to change their votes when the instructions come out of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
  4. Please donate to our work to Protect the Arctic! We need to deploy people and resources to targeted states to work directly with key refuge Friends organizations to find the votes needed to stop this destructive measure.

 Thank you for helping us win this fight – together we will prevail in protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge!

Permanent link to this article: http://refugeassociation.org/2017/10/senate-takes-shocking-step-to-open-arctic-refuge-to-oil-gas-drilling/

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