Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

 "With the strong support of the American public, we must fight to ensure that this short-sighted provision to authorize oil and gas development in the iconic Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is not a part of any final budget reconciliation package," said Jennie Olson of Environment America. (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters/Flickr/cc)

Senate Republicans (and One Democrat) Team Up to Open Arctic to Big Oil Plunder

"Sacrificing our public lands and waters to benefit the oil and gas industry is both environmentally and fiscally irresponsible."

Jake Johnson

In addition to mounting a "horrific" assault on life-saving social safety net programs like Medicaid and Medicaid, the GOP-crafted budget resolution passed by 51 Republican senators late Thursday also lays the groundwork for "drastic cuts" to programs that help shield the nation's land, air, and water from exploitation by big polluters.

"This is the wrong budget for our health, environment, and kids"
—Jennie Olson, Environment America

"Adding insult to injury," 51 Republicans also teamed up with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to thwart an amendment to their budget that would have barred drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). 

In a statement on Friday, Jennie Olson of Environment America said the GOP's decision to kill the amendment—crafted by a group of Senate Democrats—opens the pristine refuge to "irreversible damage...just so corporate polluters can make a profit."

"This is the wrong budget for our health, environment, and kids," Olson concluded. "With the strong support of the American public, we must fight to ensure that this short-sighted provision to authorize oil and gas development in the iconic Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is not a part of any final budget reconciliation package."

Environmental groups were also quick to note that oil and gas exploration in the ANWR poses risks not just to the refuge and its inhabitants, but also to the Arctic Ocean, "where an oil spill could cause irreversible harm if development is allowed to proceed," said Earthjustice president Trip Van Noppen.

"Drilling in the Arctic Refuge is not a budget issue, and should not be part of the budget reconciliation process. This is a blatant attempt to use the budget reconciliation process to pass a divisive and controversial proposal that would lead us in the wrong direction on climate," Van Noppen concluded. "Sacrificing our public lands and waters to benefit the oil and gas industry is both environmentally and fiscally irresponsible."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Hold My Pearls': Debbie Dingell Lets Marjorie Taylor Green Have It Over Abortion Rights

The Michigan Democrat engaged in a verbal altercation with the far-right Republican lawmaker from Georgia on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Jon Queally ·


Dems Who Opposed Pentagon Cuts Received Nearly 4x More Donations From Weapons Makers

The latest passage of the NDAA "is particularly strong evidence that Pentagon contractors' interests easily take precedence over national security and the public interest for too many members of Congress," said one critic.

Kenny Stancil ·


Cisneros Slams Cuellar for Being Only House Democrat to Vote Against Abortion Rights

"Once again Henry Cuellar refused to stand up for South Texans' reproductive freedom."

Jake Johnson ·


Covid-19 Cases, Deaths Rising Among Children Across US

"Is there an acceptable pediatric body count?" asked a top pediatrician in New Orleans this week. "I think not."

Julia Conley ·


Senate Filibuster Final Obstacle After House Dems Pass 'Historic' Abortion Rights Bill

"This is a moment of crisis," said one activist. "We cannot allow the filibuster, or anything else, to stand in the way of safeguarding our fundamental freedoms."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo