01 February 2012 Republican Leaders Vote to Open Arctic Refuge to Drilling Posted by: Caitlin Leutwiler | Leave a comment | Share: Help protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photo courtesy of USFWS BREAKING: Republican leaders of the House Natural Resources Committee today did the bidding of Big Oil once again and voted to open up the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the protected eastern Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s Bristol Bay to oil drilling all under the pretext of funding this year’s transportation bill. Conservative politicians have always wanted to open the Arctic refuge to drilling for the Big Oil companies. The transportation bill and the professed need for revenue is just the latest excuse to push something they have wanted for a long time. The funding issue is a scam. Even the most generous revenue estimates from this reckless expansion of drilling will not be enough to fund proposed transportation projects in the bill. In addition, what small amounts of revenue might be generated would not be seen for ten years as oil companies will still need to explore, apply for drilling permits and start development. That’s too late to pay for transportation projects starting next year. This giveaway to Big Oil will expose millions of acres of America’s pristine land and water to dirty and dangerous oil and gas development from which they may never recover. Jamie Clark in 2010 witnessing the devastation of BP oil disaster firsthand. Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, said: “Just in time for Valentine’s Day, House leaders in Congress have come out with a sweetheart deal for their Big Oil allies. Opening the Arctic refuge to drilling has been a long-standing priority of the backwards-looking, drill first crowd and the transportation bill is just the latest excuse to do so. The proposed revenue from this deal won’t even materialize for years, making this one of the most disingenuous refuge-drilling schemes we’ve ever seen, to say nothing of the environmental destruction it would cause. “Instead of sacrificing some of America’s most pristine wilderness and waters for the profit of Big Oil, Congress should focus on coming up with real solutions to fund the transportation projects that will decrease our addiction to oil and keep our country moving.” Learn more: Take Action! Ask your representative to oppose this bill and protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the wildlife that call it home. Read more about how Defenders is working to protect America’s Arctic from the dangers of dirty oil and gas drilling. Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Wolf Weekly Wrap-up In Court for Wyoming’s Wolves; Things Get Worse in Idaho; Delisting Comment Period Closed; Seattle Citizen Hearing A Shark Workshop As part of an international effort to cut down on the devastating impact of the fin trade on shark species, Defenders helped organize a shark identification workshop in Brazil,attended by officials from countries all over the continent. Washington Wolf Supporters Howl for Wolf Recovery & Oppose Stripping Federal Protections In advance of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to strip federal protection for most gray wolves in the contiguous 48 states, the Agency denied Washingtonians the opportunity to testify in opposition by refusing to hold a public hearing in the Pacific Northwest. This did not go over well in Washington! In fact, over 100 citizens decided to host their own hearing on Sunday December 15th to oppose stripping federal protections for gray wolves.