Save The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Before It's Too Late
15,456 signatures toward our 50,000 Goal
Sponsor: The Rainforest Site
Stop the Trump administration from opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas lease sales.
Our planet is in crisis, oil prices are at record lows, major banks are divesting their holdings in Arctic drilling operations, but the Trump administration is still selling off swathes of critical wilderness to fossil fuel producers 1.
The latest measure to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas lease sales will not only put the Arctic environment in jeopardy, it threatens the indigenous peoples and iconic wildlife that depend on it 2.
This proposal will allow oil and gas drilling on the 1.6 million-acres of coastal Arctic wilderness, home to migrating caribou and waterfowl, polar bears and foxes. One herd of 200,000-animals migrates 200 miles annually from the Yukon Territory to the ANWR, where females give birth to calves 3.
Once they are forced to share the coast with oil drilling machinery, the future of these species may be at risk.
"It's clear from President Trump's remarks that jamming Arctic Refuge drilling in the tax bill was always about politics and not a thoughtful energy policy," said Adam Kolton, director of the Alaska Wilderness League.
Congress passed a provision to drill in the arctic in 1995. President Bill Clinton vetoed this bill citing a desire to protect the environment and wildlife 4. The ANWR is currently free from oil and gas drilling machinery, but exploration wells have been installed in neighboring Prudhoe Bay. The examples reported in the subsequent Legislative Environment Impact Statement (LEIS) on the region show just how fragile the arctic environment is, and how devastating a single chemical spill could be 5.
The Gwich'in people of northern Alaska refer to the coastal plain as "The Sacred Place Where Life Begins," and will undoubtedly suffer if fossil fuel extraction is allowed to intrude into their way of life. Yet, the Gwich'in are standing up for their land.
"We are not giving up," said Gwich'in Steering Committee Executive Director Bernadette Demientieff. "Our ways of life, our food security, and our identity is not up for negotiation." 6.
Eighteen major rivers and hundreds of species of birds, land and marine mammals, and fish make their homes in refuge alongside the Gwi'ichin people. All of them are threatened if the refuge is opened for drilling, and all in the short-term pursuit of profits for an unsustainable industry.
Sign the petition and tell President Trump and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to stop their assault on the environment and protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge!
- U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (August 2020), "Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program Record of Decision."
- Juuliet Eilperin, The Washington Post "Trump finalizes drilling plan for iconic Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."
- Dan Joling, Associated Press (1 February 2018), "Trump explains support for oil drilling in Arctic refuge."
- Rachel Beyeler, Goshen.edu "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Alternative Solutions to Drilling."
- U.S. Geological Survey (2008), "Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal: Estimates of Undiscovered Oil and Gas North of the Arctic Circle."
- LRInspire (17 August 2020), "Gwich'in Steering Committee Statement on Trump Administration Push to Drill in the Arctic Refuge."
President Trump and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt,
The American concept of freedom has long been symbolized by the natural splendor of unspoiled wilderness. Efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas leases essentially choke that spirit to death before auctioning it off to the highest bidder.
The ANWR is home to hundreds of species of birds, land and marine mammals, and fish that swim in 18 major rivers in the region. As well, the indigenous Gwi'ichin people of northern Alaska are threatened if oil drilling operations are permitted, and all in the short-term pursuit of profits for an unsustainable industry.
Our planet is in crisis, oil prices are at record lows, major banks are divesting their holdings in Arctic drilling operations. Now is not the time to sell off our country's protected natural environments to industrial interests.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is too critical to spoil with the next inevitable chemical spill. I demand you rescind the ANWR drilling plan and protect the freedom of our remaining natural frontiers.