The House Committee on Natural Resources has overwhelmingly approved SEEC Member Rep. Jared Huffman’s (D-CA) Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act.
The GOP’s 2017 tax law included a section allowing oil and gas drilling in the fragile Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. With the Trump Administration rushing review and approval of drilling leases this year, we have little time to act before drilling becomes nearly inevitable.
Rep. Huffman’s bill would repeal this part of Trump’s tax law and protect these critical and irreplaceable lands.
As Rep. Huffman put it, “there are some places too wild, too important, too special to be spoiled by oil and gas development.”
A reminder at what is at stake here:
The Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain is home to more than 200 different wildlife species, including Porcupine caribou and polar bears. Thousands of migratory birds rely on the refuge each year to rest and reproduce and the caribou herd migrates through to calve and rest.
Indigenous communities have called the Arctic Refuge home for thousands of years. The indigenous Gwich’in community depends on the Porcupine caribou herd as a vital source of subsistence. Their way of life and their sovereignty is dependant on the Refuge and deserves to be preserved for future generations.
Oil drilling is too disruptive and dirty to safely be done in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The next step for the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act is a vote on the House floor. SEEC Members have refused to drop this issue, and we will continue to push for further action.