The GOP-backed tax bill inching closer to becoming law contains a provision that would open up an environmentally sensitive part of the Alaskan tundra for oil drilling.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) spans more than 19 million acres and is one of the last untouched ecosystems in the United States. It is home to over 200 varieties of migratory birds, 30 species of land mammals, and 40 species of fish, and is the only U.S. refuge where polar bears live. Other notable residents include walruses, beluga whales and snowy owls. The land is also the main calving grounds for North America’s largest caribou herd.
For more than 50 years, the ANWR has been protected. But if the proposed tax bill is passed, a 1.5 million-acre coastal plain between the Arctic Ocean and the Brooks Mountain Range will be opened up for oil development, putting the animal residents at risk.
Oil drilling, even when done with great care and caution, brings environmental degradation. It brings roads, pipelines, aircraft and vehicle noise, seismic testing — and in all likelihood, massive spills.
Opening up the ANWR has the potential to decimate already declining bird populations. It will interrupt caribou migration. It will destroy habitats, and animals will be displaced. The ANWR will be irrevocably altered.
Environmentalists have fought tirelessly for decades to preserve and protect the animals that call the ANWR home. But with this dangerous tax bill, development may soon commence in one of the last truly wild places in America.
The Senate vote is imminent, and now is the time to speak up for the whales, grizzlies, sandpipers, and voles. Please take a stand for the many animals that call the ANWR home.
Call your Senator and voice your opposition to opening up the ANWR today. Tomorrow, it may be too late.