I strongly oppose opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to leasing for oil and gas drilling. The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) efforts to authorize oil and gas leasing are happening at a speed and level far beyond what BLM is required to consider.
The draft Environmental Impact Statement released by the Bureau of Land Management is faulty and ill-conceived. Among many failures, BLM does not adequately address several major impacts that will be felt across the coastal plain such as the massive volume of water that industry will withdraw from the scarce water resources on the Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain. BLM also omits a meaningful analysis of the cumulative impacts of industrial disturbance and degradation of permafrost, increased thermokarsting, altered precipitation patterns and hydrology, shortened winter seasons and other manifestations of a changing climate.
The Arctic Refuge is one of the world's most important protected areas, providing vast, intact habitat for wildlife to roam freely. Birds from every continent traverse hemispheres to nest here. Caribou travelling 3,000 miles annually depend on the Refuge's Coastal Plain for their survival. One of the planet's most imperiled populations of polar bears utilizes the Coastal Plain each year to build maternity dens.The indigenous Gwich'in people have relied on this rich natural heritage for their own cultural and nutritional survival as well.
Please protect our wildlife and wild places, our natural heritage, and our clean energy future.