The Arctic Refuge faces imminent drilling threat from GOP tax bill. Urgent steps to take now.
One of world’s most prolific wildlife nurseries threatened by oil development
One of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet is facing its greatest risk in just days ahead.
The U.S. Senate voted to approve its tax plan version on December 2. This plan includes a provision which allows Alaska to open up the Arctic Refuge coastal plain to drilling, despite a surplus of oil and gas.
The good news is that it’s not a done-deal yet. The House and the Senate are now in conference, a process where members from both sides negotiate and work to reconcile the two bills. The final bill will then be voted on by both the House and the Senate.
At least twelve House Republicans have voiced their opposition to drilling in the Arctic Refuge. This is important as the committees negotiate what will be included, or excluded, in the final bill that both chambers will vote on.
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and longtime proponent of drilling in the Arctic Refuge coastal plain (also known as the ‘1002 Area’), introduced the provision to open lease sales for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
Climate change is the world’s greatest threat, yet the GOP Senate has voted to advance a destructive bill which would open drilling in one of the last intact, untouched wilderness areas on Earth.
Urgent to do now:
Call your U.S. representative and both senators in Washington at 202.224.3121. Let them know you strongly oppose oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and to remove this provision from the tax bill.
Also call your representatives at their state offices. Check their websites for locations and phone numbers.
Contact everyone you know in other states and let them know it’s urgent to contact their representatives, especially in key states with representatives who may be vulnerable in the 2018 election and could flip their votes. Maine and Arizona are in the spotlight and several others could be.
Follow Indivisible.org and moveon.org websites for alerts on tax bill protests in your area.
Follow Alaska Wilderness League for Arctic Refuge news updates (alaskawild.org; Twitter @alaskawild).
Share posts liberally on social media with news updates and details on how to take action.
Call your Democratic representatives, too. They need our support, and they need to know the Arctic Refuge drilling provision must be removed from any bill.
Call to thank each of the twelve Republican representatives for speaking out against drilling in the Arctic Refuge. We need more representatives to join them. (https://reichertforms.house.gov/uploadedfiles/arctic_national_wildlife_refuge_letter_to_gop_leadership.pdf)
Congress wants to vote on a final bill before the holiday break, although it could be delayed until January. The new Alabama senator is expected to take office in early January after election results are certified. If Democratic candidate Doug Jones wins in Alabama, Democrats gain one more vote in the Senate. In the meantime, we need to keep calling, tweeting, writing, protesting, and posting every day to demand that Congress remove Arctic Refuge drilling from the final tax bill.
November 30, 2017 letter from twelve U.S. representatives to Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell: