Yet another reason to despise this clown in the people’s house.
Courtesy of WaPo:
The Trump administration finalized plans Monday to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, a move that will auction off oil and gas rights in the heart of one of the nation’s most iconic wild places. Achieving a goal Republicans have sought for 40 years, it marks a capstone for an administration that has ignored calls to reduce fossil fuel consumption in the face of climate change.
The move will allow leasing on the 1.6 million-acre coastal plain, the center of a nearly pristine wilderness home to migrating caribou and waterfowl as well as polar bears and foxes that live there year-round. It marks a major step toward reviving fossil fuel development in an area that has been untouched for three decades.
In a statement, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said that his department was following through on the 2017 budget bill that instructed the federal government to conduct oil and gas leasing on the refuge.
“President Trump’s leadership brought more than three decades of inaction to an end,” Bernhardt told reporters in a conference call, adding that the plan was “carefully tailored” to minimize its impact on the surrounding environment. “This is no ordinary oil and gas program on public lands.”
Environmentalists and some Alaska Natives — including the Gwich’in, who live outside the refuge but rely on the Porcupine Caribou Herd that migrates through it — have pledged to fight the drilling plan in court.
The plan is to start leasing access in 2021 and complete the process by 2024.
That is plenty of time for the Biden Administration to put a stop to this and for a Democratic-led Senate and House to put stronger protections in place to keep these lands pristine for decades to come.
And it all starts with your vote.