Take Action: October 25, 2017 Keep oil and gas drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge out of the budget process

The budget process is being used to sneak through the potential reopening of oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Slipped into the Senate’s 2018 budget proposal, the vehicle for ‘tax reform’ under 50-vote-threshold reconciliation rules, is a mandate for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to come up with $1 billion in federal revenue. Most likely, this revenue will be raised by leasing parts of Alaska’s protected coastal lands to fossil fuel companies for their own use and development. 

The ANWR consists of 19.2 million acres of pristine land in Alaska. Congress banned fossil fuel development and drilling in the ANWR in 1980 but designated 1.5 million acres (Area 1002) to be studied for natural resource value. Reopening Area 1002 for drilling has been a controversial debate. The land is birthing ground to herds of caribou, a staple for indigenous tribes in the area, and any interruption would greatly alter their ways of life. While proponents cite the need for more federal revenue, the CBO analysis also showed that expected revenue from ANWR drilling would be significantly lower than suggested by the Trump administration. Alaska’s largest oil producer even told Congress they aren’t interested in the land since other areas are already open. 

The bill narrowly passed the Senate on October 19th, with a 49-51 vote.  The House is expected to vote on the final passage of the Senate budget resolution on Thursday, October 26th.  Please call your Representative to urge them to keep this out of the budget process.

More information, background, and details from 5calls.org and from The Hill

Possible Call Script:  Hello.  My name is [NAME] and I am from [TOWN, ZIP CODE].  I’m calling to urge Rep. [NAME] to oppose any budgetary provision that would reopen oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We should not destroy protected land and endanger wildlife in exchange for an unnecessary giveaway to fossil fuel companies.

You can also sign this petition from the Audubon.

Image source.