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GOP Buries Arctic Drilling in 2018 Budget

by Countable | 11.16.17

What’s the story?

Republican plans to finally open up portions of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling are one step closer to reality, reports the Washington Post. On Wednesday the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 13-10 to advance a measure as part of the 2018 budget that would open approximately a quarter of the Refuge to drilling.

Why does it matter?

Proponents maintain that 17.8 million acres of the Refuge are still off-limits, and that the drilling could raise an estimated $1.1 billion in revenue to off-set the cost of tax cuts. Critics say the area of the Refuge that would be opened is the calving grounds of one of the largest U.S. caribou herds.

The House budget contains a similar measure. The House measure was championed by Alaska GOP Rep. Don Young. The Senate measure was pushed forward by Alaska GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski.

Murkowski has long pursued the opening of the Refuge for drilling, as her father, former Senator Frank Murkowski. Following the passage of the measure this week Murkowski, reports the Post, championed the job creation and revenue generation that would follow from the measure:

Opening a small part of the non-wilderness 1002 Area for responsible energy development will create thousands of good jobs, keep energy affordable for families and businesses, ensure a steady long-term supply of American energy, generate new wealth, reduce the federal deficit, and strengthen our national security.”

Environmentalists oppose inclusion of ANWR drilling as a means to pay for tax cuts. They also argue it is a way of achieving a measure that wouldn't pass on it's own.

The administration is expected to support the inclusion, however. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, in remarks to the Heritage Foundation in September, commented, "The road to energy dominance goes through the great state of Alaska."

What do you think?

Do you support GOP moves to open -the Refuge to drilling or not?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

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(213)
  • LisaGreenfield
    10/18/2017
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    I’m absolutely opposed to drilling in Alaska that is highly destructive while chasing a dwindling resource. I want that money invested in alternative energy sources that are sustainable and clean. Surely we can have both and better to move forward on this tactic rather than ruthlessly destroy more of our habitat for a short term energy source. Please bring all the power of your office to stop this effort to drill Alaska.

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  • Marianne
    10/18/2017
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    Please do not support any budget that authorizes drilling in the Arctic. This is a precious area that needs protection--not exploitation. Please support responsible energy sources like solar and wind. The health and future of our planet depend on your actions. Please fight for a healthy planet and do not support any budget that degrades our earth. Thank you.

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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    10/18/2017
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    Imagine that. Corrupt politicians placing (hiding) corrupt legislation in a package that must pass. Every piece of legislation should be presented individually and pass on its own merits. If it cannot pass alone, then it should not become a bill. Also, this will make it easier in the future to terminate the law, as necessary, without much impact to other policies.

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  • NoHedges
    10/18/2017
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    Not surprised, they buried their motive for land access under the guise of helping people receive medical care and as the premise for the King Cove land exchange.

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  • Efsolis
    10/18/2017
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    How about as a rule every piece of legislation has to be independent of any other bill. Keeps the opinion true to its intent

    Like (21)
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  • Louise
    10/18/2017
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    Drilling in the Arctic is precisely what Putin is after. It is why he installed this fake president. Obama stopped Putin’s efforts to form a multi billion dollar oil deal by sanctioning him, and barring him from drilling in the arctic. This administration appears ready to give Putin everything he wants. Senator Gardener, will you stand up to thwart Putin’s agenda?Will you help preserve one of the last pristine places on earth? Will you? Or will you stand with Putin and the monied interests that are savaging our democracy?

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  • Mary
    10/18/2017
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    Refuge defined is a place of protection for all living things living in the Arctic; you want to drill there? Why not expanding wind, solar, water and other alternative clean energy sources. When are you people going to get it. We need to be stewards of this planet not destroyers. Wake up and preserve our living planet.

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  • Donna
    10/18/2017
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    First it was the Keystone and Dakota pipelines. Then it was the Paris Accord, The Clean Water Act, the Clean Power Plan and the 12-mile road through the Wildlife Refuge in Alaska (apparently to sup-port this stupid idea of drilling for more oil the country does not need to line the pockets of the oil companies and their lobbyists with money they don't really need). When is enough enough? When does anyone but the 1% start mattering in this country? When will Congress stop playing Russian Roulette with the lives of future generations? When will sanity return? The list could go on, but I really see no point as I know the answer to each of these questions is apparently NEVER! Congress can screw with anyone but the lobbyists and the 1%. To borrow a word from this character of a President -- Sad.

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  • Kathleen
    10/18/2017
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    I vote yes, it would give Alaskan jobs and those people that live so far out would not have to wait for fuel. If you ever lived in Alaska that you are hundreds of miles from the nearest store. These ppl must stock up for food, gas, etc, to be able to live. The only thing I would worry about is the wild life getting hurt or killed. True Alaskans take great care on there Animals. If your shoot it you better eat it. I know ppl here that worry about the environment and you may of listen to Gore he lied and a movie was made about it. I am 68 yrs and I remember as a kid we were all going to freeze to death, to much ice . They is a old saying don’t fu*k with Mother Nature. She will take care of herself.

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  • Michael
    10/17/2017
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    If you have to hide this sort of thing because it can’t pass on its own merits, that should be a major red flag. Legislation that has this big of an impact on the environment and people should be properly vetted, discussed, and voted on on its own.

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  • Judith
    10/18/2017
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    SAVE THE ARCTIC FROM DRILLING AND THESE STUPID REPUBLICANS !!!! HONEST TO GOD WE HAVE TO FIGHT THEM OFF FROM DESTROYING THE COUNTRY !!!! WHERE THE HELL IS THE LEGAL SYSTEM ???? THE CONGRESS DOESN'T SEEM TO CARE ABOUT THE WELLBEING OF THE COUNTRY ENOUGH TO PROTECT IT FROM THE RAPIST HATER IN CHIEF !! YOU STUPID BA$%ERDS THOUGHT YOU COULD LOOK THE OTHER WAY WHEN CONFRONTED WITH WHITE COLLAR CRIME !!! THOUGHT YOU COULD SAIL ALONG RAKING IN THE EASY TIMES !!! SO HOW'S YOUR WORK LOAD NOW MORONS ?????

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  • Carol
    10/18/2017
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    This budget is horrible and will only add to the deficit and line wealthy people’s pockets. In addition to drilling in the Arctic wildlife refuge which is the worst idea ever. More carbon footprint less Article animals. Sounds loose loose to me.

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  • Peggy
    10/18/2017
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    Please do not approve a bill with a hidden agenda for drilling in Alaska. Vote no!!

    Like (7)
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  • Lukas
    10/19/2017
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    This is proposal, while attractive for oil companies, hurts everyone else. This is a protected wildlife refuge for a reason, and that reason isn't to allow the exploitation of natural resources. If the US economy wants to be competitive in the future, it needs to invest in renewable energy, which will dominate the energy landscape in the near future. Allowing this drilling would also set a dangerous precedent for the disregard of protected areas, potentially causing much more harm to the environment than just this drilling alone.

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  • Jean
    10/18/2017
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    Stop this cowardly covert action on the Arctic! Everyone must be present if this pristine area is being discussed for impact.

    Like (7)
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  • Pego
    10/18/2017
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    Once again the GOP chooses to serve oil money over American people. For shame!!!

    Like (5)
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  • Linda
    10/18/2017
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    No drilling in the ANWR. We have enough problems with destruction of our natural areas and climate change. We need renewable energy not more drilling.

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  • Kyle
    10/18/2017
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    The fact that arctic drilling is included in the 2018 budget is absolutely unacceptable. Does the greed of politicians and the oil companies that own them have no limits? The arctic must be protected, the ecological impact of raping the region of the world would be devastating. It is a fragile ecosystem that must be protected. Will we ever learn the earth does not have unlimited resources and harming the planet and taking unnecessary risks like this will only hurt us and future generations. The future greatness of America doesn’t lie under the ice in ancient bones, it’s in largely renewable and clean sources like solar and wind energy. Oil is old fashioned and depending on it is only going to drag us behind the rest of the world. Change or die.

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  • Ron
    10/18/2017
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    Good idea to open oil in US before importing and stuffing pockets in Middle East and Russia

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  • Herbert
    10/18/2017
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    I do not support drilling in ANWR. It seems to me we are able to provide for our energy needs with fracking, which creates environmental issues of its own. We should be seeking to expand renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind.

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