Posted on 13 March 2012.
The Arctic refuge is the largest onshore denning area for America's polar bears.
BREAKING: In its first vote on the issue since 2008, the U.S. Senate today decisively voted down an amendment to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration (vote count 41-57).
This amendment, offered by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), not only sought to open the Arctic refuge’s coastal plain to drilling, but also would have allowed drilling in vast areas of our nation’s coastal waters, including the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, offshore Virginia and Alaska’s Bristol Bay, would have approved the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, and would have reinstated 11th hour regulations from President Bush that would allow massive commercial-scale leasing of our western public lands for oil shale and tar sands developments.
Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, said after the vote, “The Senate today continued the legacy of keeping dirty and dangerous drilling out of the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, demonstrating a commitment to our country’s natural treasures and a refusal to engage in the Big Oil giveaway that is keeping its Congressional counterpart spinning its wheels. If the House of Representatives is serious about securing critical transportation funding this year, they should follow suit and remove Big Oil’s wish list from the bill.”
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photo courtesy of USFWS
Drilling in the Arctic refuge will do nothing to combat the high gas prices seen today. What small amounts of oil might be generated from oil and gas leasing in the Arctic refuge would not be seen for ten years as oil companies will still need to explore, apply for drilling permits and start development.
This amendment is almost identical to an earlier amendment introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) that was ruled “non germane” by the Senate Finance Committee, and an amendment offered by Sen. Hoeven (R-ND) that was voted down last week.
Read about the reckless “drill everywhere” bill passed by the House of Representative last month.
Posted in Alaska, Congress, Features, Offshore Drilling, Polar Bear, Press Releases
Posted on 01 February 2012.
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.”
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.
Posted in Alaska, Congress, Polar Bear, Press Releases, Public Lands, Take Action