Quantcast

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Danger Again

Energy

The Wilderness Society

It seems that big oil and their Congressional allies are relentless. When it comes to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), there is never a crisis for which drilling isn’t the answer. High oil prices? Drill the ANWR. Too few jobs in America? Drill the ANWR. The latest crisis, what can we do to reduce the deficit, has the same answer—drill ANWR.

The House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on Sept. 21 to discuss opening the ANWR to oil and gas drilling, and using the revenue to pay down the federal deficit. As with many of these hearings, there was heated rhetoric from both sides. While drilling promoters trotted out questionable jobs statistics, defenders of the ANWR quickly pointed out flaws in the arguments—many of them stemming from inflated numbers in an oil-industry produced jobs report.

“It’s not creative. It’s not new,” said Gene Karpinski of the League of Conservation Voters of the idea to drill in the ANWR. Karpinski and David Jenkins of Republicans for Environmental Protection defended the ANWR from the pro-drilling witnesses, including the Alaska congressional delegation, noting that the estimates of available oil and job creation potential were suspect at best, and would have devastating impacts on the ANWR.

But while members of Congress argued in Washington, another hearing was taking place across the country, showing how much support the ANWR has in Alaska.

In Anchorage, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hosted a public hearing on the ANWR's draft revised Comprehensive Conservation Plan, and people who spoke in favor of wilderness protection for the coastal plain and other parts of the refuge outnumbered the pro-drilling crowd by a margin of 2 to 1.

Many Gwich’in tribal members attended, and a wide array of citizens spoke passionately about their love for the refuge and the importance of preserving it for future generations. Instead of pleas for short-term gains in oil revenue and jobs, the majority of Alaskans at the hearing called for responsible stewardship of wildlife, the preservation of a unique and irreplaceable landscape, and protections for native culture and subsistence ways of life.

The message from Alaskans was clear—the ANWR is too special to sacrifice for oil.

The question is, will anyone in Washington listen?

For more information, click here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Arx0nt / Moment / Getty Images

By Taylor Jones, RD

Oats are a highly nutritious grain with many health benefits.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

Get ready to toast bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. National Pollinator Week is June 17-23 and it's a perfect time to celebrate the birds, bugs and lizards that are so essential to the crops we grow, the flowers we smell, and the plants that produce the air we breathe.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Alexander Spatari / Moment / Getty Images

It seems like every day a new diet is declared the healthiest — paleo, ketogenic, Atkins, to name a few — while government agencies regularly release their own recommended dietary guidelines. But there may not be an ideal one-size-fits-all diet, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less
Logging shown as part of a thinning and restoration effort in the Deschutes National Forest in Oregon on Oct. 22, 2014. Oregon Department of Forestry / CC BY 2.0

The U.S Forest Service unveiled a new plan to skirt a major environmental law that requires extensive review for new logging, road building, and mining projects on its nearly 200 million acres of public land. The proposal set off alarm bells for environmental groups, according to Reuters.

Read More Show Less
Maskot / Getty Images

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

It's easy to wonder which foods are healthiest.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Homes in Washington, DC's Brookland neighborhood were condemned to clear room for a highway in the 1960s. The community fought back. Brig Cabe / DC Public Library

By Teju Adisa-Farrar & Raul Garcia

In the summer of 1969 a banner hung over a set of condemned homes in what was then the predominantly black and brown Brookland neighborhood in Washington, DC. It read, "White man's roads through black men's homes."

Earlier in the year, the District attempted to condemn the houses to make space for a proposed freeway. The plans proposed a 10-lane freeway, a behemoth of a project that would divide the nation's capital end-to-end and sever iconic Black neighborhoods like Shaw and the U Street Corridor from the rest of the city.

Read More Show Less
Demonstrators outside a Republican presidential debate in Detroit in 2016. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Michigan prosecutors dropped all criminal charges against government officials involved in the Flint water crisis Thursday, citing concerns about the investigation they had inherited from the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) appointed by former Attorney General Bill Schuette, CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Samara Heisz / iStock / Getty Images

New York state has joined California, West Virginia, Arizona, Mississippi and Maine in ending religious exemptions for parents who prefer not to vaccinate their children, The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less