When Big Oil is giving the orders, the Trump administration can move frighteningly fast. Immediately after a sneaky provision in the Trump Tax Scam opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, the Trump team has rushed to seal the deal.
Department of Interior officials have now officially announced their plans to start drilling in the refuge's 1.6 million acre coastal plain.1 Drilling threatens the main calving ground for the Porcupine caribou herd and the cultural future of the indigenous Gwich’in people, whose way of life depends on the caribou. The Gwich'in consider the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge land sacred, and they have asked for all our support in protecting it.2
To stand with the Gwich'in people, we need to stop this climate, environmental and cultural catastrophe now, before it's too late.
Tell Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke: Do not allow drilling on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's coastal plain.
The Alaskan coastal plain that is on Trump's chopping block is one of the most biodiverse regions left in the United States. It is home to polar bears, caribou, moose and hundreds of species of migratory birds. It is sacred land to the Gwich'in people, who live just outside the refuge and rely on subsistence hunting of migrating caribou.
An oil spill in the Arctic Refuge would be devastating. The remote Arctic has a small population, with few facilities available to address a cleanup.3 The harsh conditions and temperatures make responding to an oil spill exorbitantly difficult and expensive. We do not know the full impact of a spill in the refuge – and that is exactly why oil companies and their friends in the Trump administration are moving so fast. They want to reap short-term profits before the public recognizes the long-term consequences for this irreplaceable region and the world's climate.
Our friends at the Gwich'in Steering Committee and the Alaska Wilderness League are calling on us to join them in protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from this Republican assault.
Tell Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke: Do not allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's coastal plain.
- Pamela King, "Trump administration takes first steps toward drilling in Alaska’s Arctic refuge," Science Magazine, April 19, 2018.
- David Thompson, "Take Action," Gwich'in Steering Committee, Sept. 7, 2016.
- Ben Stewart, "10 Reasons Why Arctic Oil Drilling Is a Really Bad, Stupid Idea," Greenpeace, Feb. 23, 2012.