Rep. Huffman Slams Trump Admin’s Rush to Accelerate Drilling Preparations in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Washington, D.C.- Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA) today slammed the Trump administration’s rushed move to open the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to dangerous oil and gas drilling.
The Department of the Interior announced that it will begin the process to hold its first lease sale in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by initiating scoping for an Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed lease sale and opening the public comment period for the next 60 days, starting tomorrow. The Administration will not hold any public comment meetings outside of Alaska.
“Today’s announcement confirms that Trump’s ‘America First Energy Plan’ is truly a plan to put oil companies first, ahead of human rights, public lands, and iconic wildlife,” said Rep. Huffman. “The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a national treasure and the Republican Congress made the wrong choice to allow unnecessary new oil and gas development there. The Trump administration is now making that bad situation even worse by allowing a rush to drilling at breakneck speed. This new process destroys any chance of scientifically sound review or tribal consultation to assess the serious biological, cultural, and climate impacts that fossil fuel extraction will have for the Gwich’in people who have lived off the resources of Arctic Refuge for generations and are staunchly united in their opposition to development. We will not sit by while this administration rushes to drill one of America’s last wild places as part of its overall assault on clean air, clean water, wildlife, and our nation’s natural heritage.”
This announcement comes just months after oil industry allies in Congress slipped authorization for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling into the Republicans’ deficit-busting tax law.
Rep. Huffman introduced the bipartisan Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act to designate the 1.5 million-acre Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge as wilderness, codifying into law permanent protections from damaging activities like oil and gas drilling.