Stop Secretary Zinke and BLM from selling off our Arctic Wildlife Refuge’s Coastal Plain for oil and gas drilling!

Caribou graze on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, with the Brooks Range as a backdrop. (USFWS). Wikimedia Commons.

GOAL: Stop oil & gas drilling lease sales in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge’s Coastal Plain!

DEADLINE: June 19, 2018!

REASON: The GOP snuck provisions into the #GOPTaxScam bill (The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) mandating the sale of oil and gas drilling leases in the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge by 2024. As of the Notice of Intent, the process has begun. Let’s put a stop to this destructive profit-driven plan!

ACTION 1: Send an email to blm_ak_coastalplain_EIS@blm.gov opposing the plans to sell oil and gas leases in the Coastal Plain!

SAMPLE SCRIPT: “I am writing you with regard to the April 20, 2018 Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program, Alaska, to register my opposition to the sale of any oil or gas leases in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge Coastal Plain. While the Notice of Intent claims to “limit the footprint of production and support facilities on Federal lands to no more than 2,000 surface acres” of the 1.6 million acre Coastal Plain, and the recent GOP Tax Cuts and Jobs Act may have included a mandate of the sale of at least two such polluting leases by 2024, new partisan plans for profit do not change facts supporting the need for these lands to remain protected. Science dating back decades establishes that extraction of the oil and gas in the coastal plain would cause permanent irreperable damage to wildlife and local ecology. Birds, polar bears, wolves, caribou and more rely upon the integrity of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge for sanctuary, safety and breeding space. I implore the Bureau of Land Management to cease all prospective oil and gas lease sales in these life-sustaining protected areas. The tax royalties desired by Alaskans from these projects may be able to come from more hydroelectric projects around Alaska; encourage those in areas outside the refuge instead. Thank you.”

ACTION 2: If comfortable doing so, read https://tinyurl.com/ReviewOfPlans and then click “Comment On Document” beside the line for the ‘Notice of Intent’ to pull up the following form, which would allow the attachment of additional documents and evidence to support your position: https://tinyurl.com/CommentDirectly

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

– Summary of the plan, including a map of the intended lease area: https://tinyurl.com/coastalplainEIS
– PDF copy of the Notice of Intent, filed with the Federal Register: https://tinyurl.com/DrillingNotice
– Nat’l. Wildlife Refuge Assn. explanation (incl. donation link): https://tinyurl.com/ProtectTheCoastalPlain
– Fact sheets & sample LTEs from Audubon.org: https://tinyurl.com/thearcticrefuge
– NatGeo article citing ‘lots of animals, less oil: https://tinyurl.com/lotsofanimals

If 80 percent of the Alaska budget comes from oil and gas taxes and royalties, it’s worth comparing to see whether renewables can move in to replace those income streams.

Alaska Solar Map
Alaska Wind Map, Energy.gov (Dept. of Energy-run gov’t. site.)
Alaska Wind Map, AWS Truepower
Alaska Installed Wind
Alaska Ctr. for Energy and Power on Hydroelectric Power
HydroWorld article on Alaska’s untapped potential, 2011

Photo: Caribou graze on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, with the Brooks Range as a backdrop. (USFWS). Wikimedia Commons.