Congressional Budget Resolutions Put Arctic Refuge at Risk

For Immediate Release

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Marissa Knodel, Associate Legislative Counsel, (202) 667-4500 x5235, mknodel@earthjustice.org

Congressional Budget Resolutions Put Arctic Refuge at Risk

Earthjustice responds to budget provisions that pave the way for oil drilling in pristine wildlife refuge.

WASHINGTON - In two separate votes today, the House of Representatives and the Senate Budget Committee are expected to decide on budget resolutions that will pave the way for oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The Arctic Refuge is one of our nation’s most wild and iconic landscapes. The majority of Americans want the pristine lands within this publicly owned territory to be protected as wilderness, not handed over to the oil industry. According to recent public opinion research commissioned by the Center for American Progress, two-thirds of Americans are opposed to drilling in the Arctic Refuge, while 52 percent are “strongly opposed.”

The following is a statement from 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 the majority of Americans oppose.

“Arctic Refuge drilling has no place in legislation that should be used to fund the agencies and programs that protect our air, water, health and climate. Other special, wild lands in Alaska’s Western Arctic, our oceans, and public lands near parks and monuments could also be at risk if drilling is used to balance this dirty budget. Sacrificing our public lands and waters to profit the oil and gas industry and pay for tax breaks for billionaires is both environmentally and fiscally irresponsible.

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Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth, and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment. We bring about far-reaching change by enforcing and strengthening environmental laws on behalf of hundreds of organizations, coalitions and communities.

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