UPDATE(09/12/19): In a 225-193 vote, the House has passed HR 1146.
A provision buried in the 2017 Republican “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” mandated that the coastal plain of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) be opened to fossil fuel companies for oil and gas drilling. Congress originally banned fossil fuel development in the ANWR in 1980, but the GOP wants to use royalties from oil and gas production there as a revenue generator to offset their tax cuts.
The ANWR consists of 19.2 million acres of pristine land in Alaska. The Refuge’s coastal plain is birthing ground to herds of caribou, a staple for indigenous tribes in the area, along with home to polar bears, caribou, muskoxen, wolves, dall sheep, brown bears, wolverines, arctic foxes, and more than 200 bird species. The general public overwhelming opposes the reopening of ANWR to oil and gas drilling due to the devastation it would impose on the land and wildlife.
Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) has introduced the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act (HR 1146), to amend the 2017 Republican tax bill and repeal the entire ANWR oil and gas provision. Demand your representative prevent the leasing of Alaska’s protected coastal lands to fossil fuel companies for their own use and development.