Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 309

Should Fossil Fuel Extraction in the Arctic Be Banned?

Argument in favor

Drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean carries a very high risk of environmental damage that can be difficult for such a sensitive ecosystem to recover from. No energy exploration should be allowed there to preserve the region for future generations.

Anna's Opinion
···
02/10/2019
We only have one planet. Congress is a coequal branch of government. Take responsibility, do your job, and step up to pass this legislation.
Like (204)
Follow
Share
Chickie's Opinion
···
02/10/2019
When then Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke addressed allowing oil drilling in Alaskan waters, it was to sustain American ‘dominance’ of the oil industry. He, nor #45, cared about the environmental impact that the drilling would have on the waters, air and lands. Currently, the U.S. has stockpiles of oil, selling millions of gallons to other countries. Why not conserve those stockpiles for our use? The reasoning of this administration, that drilling will provided monies to the Inuit peoples is a gross misrepresentation of the truth. For example, the Gwich’in nation and a number of Canadian Inuit’s have fought ~ and won ~ against the oil industry; recognizing the devastating impact oil drilling will have on the caribou, Narwhal, and other wildlife. Why decimate our environment more to increase the money of the rich and corporations? Before the environmental laws of the 1970’s, blasts to map the Arctic seabed had a profound impact on marine life. For example: Inuit seal hunters, noticed that the seals didn’t react to the approaching hunters. Upon closer investigation, they saw puss coming from the ears of the seals. The blasts had caused deafness to the seals, diminishing their protection from predators. It is our responsibility as not just citizens of the U.S., but citizens of the world, to conserve, preserve and protect our lands, air, and waters.
Like (123)
Follow
Share
···
02/10/2019
Of course Arctic Drilling should be banned.
Like (82)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

Oil taxes are a critical source of tax revenue for Alaskan communities, providing much-needed money for government services, infrastructure, and more. In order to maintain this revenue source, the door should be open to additional energy exploration in the Arctic.

RAN's Opinion
···
02/10/2019
No, drilling should not be banned in the arctic.
Like (68)
Follow
Share
Fred's Opinion
···
02/10/2019
We depend on fossil fuels. Our economy would be screwed without them. Low income people would freeze to death if we go cold turkey to new and more expensive forms of energy. There should be incentives to explore and perfecting everlasting energy sources- solar, wind, hydro and thermal (heat from earth’s core) but the use of fossil fuels should not be penalized. Yes the oil companies are corrupt and have us by the genitalia, but at the same time our way of life is built around oil and natural gas. We need to gradually change over but it will take time. If you want to make a law how about one for companies knowingly holding back discoveries that could help man kind? Like when Exxon bought the patents for battery technology and sat on it. And the medical industry with lots of ‘treatments’ but very few cures coming out. Diabetes insulin $800 what’s up with that??
Like (43)
Follow
Share
James's Opinion
···
02/10/2019
Fat chance! Get it while it’s there because if we don’t the Russians and Chinese will! How are you going to ban them? They are positively laughing at us! Green Mew Deal and Socialism my foot!
Like (19)
Follow
Share

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Natural Resources
      Energy and Mineral Resources
    IntroducedJanuary 8th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 309?

This bill would declare that it’s U.S. policy that the Arctic Ocean should be managed for the best interests of the American people, defined by this bill as keeping fossil fuels in the ground to avoid the dangerous impacts of climate change. The bill would also acknowledge that global climate change is occurring as a result of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. Further, it’d recognize that climate change will continue to pose ongoing risks and challenges to the American people and government.

It would also amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to prohibit the Dept. of the Interior from issuing or renewing a lease or any other authorization for the exploration, development, or production of oil, natural gas, or any other mineral in the Arctic Ocean, including the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea planning areas.

Impact

Fossil fuels; the Arctic; Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act; Dept. of Interior; and global climate change.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 309

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to protect America’s coastline from the dangers of offshore drilling:

“The science and wave of public opposition is clear: America’s oceans must be protected from dangerous offshore drilling. Opening our public waters up to oil and gas companies puts fragile ecosystems in jeopardy for environmental catastrophe. We cannot stand idly by while the Trump administration places the short-term profit goals of polluters over the long-term interests of the American people. I’m glad to join today’s nationwide effort to block offshore drilling by introducing my legislation to give the Pacific Coast and the Arctic Ocean the protections they deserve, shielding our oceans from reckless exploitation.”

Last Congress, Rep. Huffman introduced this bill in response to President Trump’s Executive Order expanding coal, oil, and gas leasing on public lands. This bill would make the Arctic Ocean off-limits to any future drilling proposals by prohibiting any new or renewed leases for the exploration, development, or production of oil, natural gas or any other minerals in the Arctic Ocean Planning Areas of the Outer Continental Shelf:

“Dangerous oil spills are the reality of offshore drilling, and if we allow drilling in the Arctic Ocean, it is only a matter of time before environmental catastrophe strikes. We must permanently protect the Arctic Ocean for future generations. This is a Presidency by the oil industry, of the oil industry, and for the oil industry: from President Trump’s choice of the Exxon C.E.O. as Secretary of State, to his personal financial stakes in the oil and gas industry, to his recent executive actions to roll back climate protections, he is proving that his White House will jeopardize clean air, clean water, and America's outdoor heritage to further line the pockets of Big Oil.”

When Rep. Huffman reintroduced this bill in the current Congress, Alaska Wilderness League’s Legislative Director, Leah Donahey, expressed her organization’s support:

“We one hundred percent support Reps. Jared Huffman and Raul Grijalva and House Democrats moving legislation to protect America’s coastlines from dangerous offshore development. The Arctic in particular is fragile and remote with little to no infrastructure to deal with potential oil spills. The region continues to warm, and this warming is reflected in the increasingly extreme climate-related events we’re seeing across the continent. Sea ice is disappearing, and iconic Arctic species like polar bears face an uncertain future. Simply put, it would be irresponsible to drill there.”

Bob Reiss, author of The Eskimo and the Oil Man, argued in 2012 that environmentalists should support oil exploration in Alaska’s Arctic waters in order to determine whether oil is present:

“[A]s a Green I believe it important to balance environmental protection with development… Balance means you have to allow drilling at times, not just always say no.”

Reiss also observed that oil revenues are of tremendous importance to native peoples in Alaska, including the Inupiat people, “who get practically all their local budget from taxing oil” and depend on oil tax money to fund “roads, rescue squads, schools, and even plumbing.” Without oil, Reiss argued, it’d be impossible to maintain Alaskans’ government services and modernize Alaska’s cities.

In September 2016, 74 members of Congress sent President Obama a bipartisan letter asking him to take action to permanently protect the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. In December 2016, Obama used his authority under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953 to permanently protect 3.8 million publicly-owned acres in the Atlantic Ocean off the East Coast and 115 million acres in the U.S. Arctic Ocean from oil and gas leasing.

In October 2018, the Trump administration proposed creating a new gas-drilling island less than 30 miles from the coast of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), reversing Obama’s Arctic drilling ban. In a statement announcing the deal, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the deal would make America stronger:

"Working with Alaska Native stakeholders, the Department of Interior is following through on President Trump’s promise of American Energy Dominance. Today we’re announcing approval of the Hilcorp Liberty Project, which if completed, will be the first production facility ever located in federal waters off Alaska. American energy dominance is good for the economy, the environment, and our national security. Responsibly developing our resources, in Alaska especially, will allow us to use our energy diplomatically to aid our allies and check our adversaries. That makes America stronger and more influential around the globe.”

To date, the Trump administration has auctioned an amount of public lands to energy companies that environmentalists say is “unlike anything in the modern era” while simultaneously rolling back regulations on energy exploration. In 2017, the Dept. of Interior put nearly 12 million acres of federal lands up for sale — over twice what was auctioned at the peak of the George W. Bush administration.

In the current Congress, this bill has 19 cosponsors, all of whom are Democrats. It had 67 cosponsors in the 115th Congress, all of whom were Democrats. It also had the support of the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Friends of the Earth, and others.


Of Note:

Congress possesses the ultimate constitutional authority over public land management. Thus, should this bill pass, it would block future presidential expansion of Arctic land use for energy exploration.

Environmental groups argue that the risk of oil spills in the Arctic are too great to allow drilling, and the region is already too stressed by climate change to handle the additional disruption from oil exploration. They cite the fact that oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska still sits on the Prince William Sound’s beaches, and orca populations in that area still haven’t returned to their pre-spill numbers to support their argument that oil spills in this region can be catastrophic.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / nightman1965)

AKA

Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2019

Official Title

To prohibit drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

    We only have one planet. Congress is a coequal branch of government. Take responsibility, do your job, and step up to pass this legislation.
    Like (204)
    Follow
    Share
    No, drilling should not be banned in the arctic.
    Like (68)
    Follow
    Share
    When then Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke addressed allowing oil drilling in Alaskan waters, it was to sustain American ‘dominance’ of the oil industry. He, nor #45, cared about the environmental impact that the drilling would have on the waters, air and lands. Currently, the U.S. has stockpiles of oil, selling millions of gallons to other countries. Why not conserve those stockpiles for our use? The reasoning of this administration, that drilling will provided monies to the Inuit peoples is a gross misrepresentation of the truth. For example, the Gwich’in nation and a number of Canadian Inuit’s have fought ~ and won ~ against the oil industry; recognizing the devastating impact oil drilling will have on the caribou, Narwhal, and other wildlife. Why decimate our environment more to increase the money of the rich and corporations? Before the environmental laws of the 1970’s, blasts to map the Arctic seabed had a profound impact on marine life. For example: Inuit seal hunters, noticed that the seals didn’t react to the approaching hunters. Upon closer investigation, they saw puss coming from the ears of the seals. The blasts had caused deafness to the seals, diminishing their protection from predators. It is our responsibility as not just citizens of the U.S., but citizens of the world, to conserve, preserve and protect our lands, air, and waters.
    Like (123)
    Follow
    Share
    Of course Arctic Drilling should be banned.
    Like (82)
    Follow
    Share
    Protect our natural resources!
    Like (67)
    Follow
    Share
    Notice how the loudest voices in favor of drilling are always taking money from Big Polluters? Lots and lots of money? Our dependence on fossil fuels is killing us.. if we use renewables we create great jobs and are no longer dependant on the murderous Saudis. Leave our pristine Arctic alone!
    Like (52)
    Follow
    Share
    All fossil fuel production should be banned, especially in the world’s oceans. Oil & Gas is a dying industry, just like “beautiful, clean,coal”! It’s time to start investing in the future, in sustainable energy sources. America should be a leader in green industry, not an old dinosaur. Funny enough, old dinosaurs is the reason we have O&G. Both are extinct!
    Like (50)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes fossil fuel extraction in the Arctic should be banned. The profit gains by big oil and even our Nation are not worth the externalities, the unpaid cost and the unintended consequences, of the extraction; not to mention those that are obvious. Also, we should view this as a no brainer as doing it safely cannot be trusted to business today especially with the Trump Administrations killing, not enforcing, and their general distain for environmental regulation makes it a no. Also, I’ll add that although I remain a big fan of Obama his record in environmental matters was not stellar for those knowledgeable of his policies and how lax he was in Enforcement. So absolutely not, no fossil fuel extraction in the Arctic, and it’s an absurd issue to contemplate in my view.
    Like (44)
    Follow
    Share
    We depend on fossil fuels. Our economy would be screwed without them. Low income people would freeze to death if we go cold turkey to new and more expensive forms of energy. There should be incentives to explore and perfecting everlasting energy sources- solar, wind, hydro and thermal (heat from earth’s core) but the use of fossil fuels should not be penalized. Yes the oil companies are corrupt and have us by the genitalia, but at the same time our way of life is built around oil and natural gas. We need to gradually change over but it will take time. If you want to make a law how about one for companies knowingly holding back discoveries that could help man kind? Like when Exxon bought the patents for battery technology and sat on it. And the medical industry with lots of ‘treatments’ but very few cures coming out. Diabetes insulin $800 what’s up with that??
    Like (43)
    Follow
    Share
    To clean up an oil spill is almost Impossible in Alaska and look at Texas. One of the largest sea food supply is Alaska. The Gulf of Mexico is having a hard time recovering.
    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
    Any further drilling in the Arctic should be banned. Protect that fragile environment. It is already under way too much stress from many sources, including climate change. Glaciers have already retreated miles in many areas. Oil spills in Alaska have already caused considerable harm. Furthermore, environmental damage is likely to harm the robust tourism industry. Tourism is much more likely to help the local citizens than further lining the pockets of big oil companies would.
    Like (31)
    Follow
    Share
    Ban drilling in the Arctic. Preserve this pristine area for wildlife and future generations. We have but one planet. Take care of it and move away from fossil fuels.
    Like (27)
    Follow
    Share
    Fat chance! Get it while it’s there because if we don’t the Russians and Chinese will! How are you going to ban them? They are positively laughing at us! Green Mew Deal and Socialism my foot!
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    Destroying our planet to mine fuel that destroys our planet and riches the rich but in the end kills us all.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    OMG, Cndrla, thank you. Very necessary information. Very scary! Absolutely! Climate change is already destroying the land, the polar bears, the ice, the weather, and more, up here. It is the LAST place there should be any drilling. The area there is so remote, it would be literally impossible to get cleanup capabilities there when the massive, oil spill occurs. And it WILL occur. One day. Just like the recent mining spill in Brazil - killing hundreds and seriously polluting the land. There has never been a mine that didn’t have a spill, yet Young, Murkowski and Sullivan would have us believe the Pebble Mine and drilling in the Arctic are good ideas. Stupid and shortsighted, both! But great for THEIR bottom lines, eh? The only ones who profit from oil, coal and mining exploration are the rich corporations, the president and the legislators they support. You and I pay, pay, pay, whatever THEY decide the price to pay should be every month. I wouldn’t doubt some of those fat cats sit up there and decide how many mansions, expensive cars, luxury items, whatever, they’re needing and adjust the prices accordingly! Do you?
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    No drilling in the Arctic! You need to stop destroying the planet and start protecting it.
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    Look at imagery of west Texas to see the impact of oil production. Imagine this in the Arctic region.
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    Leave it in the ground.
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    Drilling in the Arctic is bad for the local environment, nature, and the global climate. There are plenty of other places to extract oil and gas. The Arctic must be off limits to drilling, mining, and development.
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    I urge you to ban the extracción of fossil fuels in the arctic.This kind of action will make things worse with weather change . There will come a time that America will have to face the consequences of weather change if we don’t do something about it.
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE