Stop Trump’s Last-Ditch Push to Open the Arctic Refuge to Oil Drilling
Niel Lawrence / Natural Resources Defense Council
(December 4, 2020) — In the final days of his presidency, Trump is rushing to sell drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil companies. We must stop him.
The Trump administration has just announced the first-ever lease sale in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, scheduled for January 6. That means that in less than a month, oil giants like Chevron, ConocoPhilips, and others could have rights to drill in this spectacular wildland — home to Indigenous communities for millennia.
NRDC is in court challenging Trump’s last-ditch Arctic assault — but in the meantime, the administration is still inviting public comments on their disastrous plan.
ACTION: Please make your voice heard now. Show Trump and his dirty energy allies that you stand with the millions of people in the US and around the world who are united in opposition to drilling in the Arctic Refuge.
Thanks for taking this urgent action.
Niel Lawrence is the Alaska Director and Senior Attorney the NRDC
Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation speaks about the impacts of oil and gas extraction in the Arctic
The clock is ticking on the Trump presidency, but that won’t stop Donald Trump from trying to do as much damage as he can to our environment and climate on his way out the door.
Trump is rushing to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil companies. This could be one of Trump’s last major favors to his fossil fuel industry backers.
Trump’s Interior Department is inviting oil companies to put in requests to lease specific parcels of land in the Arctic Refuge for oil and gas drilling. And just days ago, the administration scheduled the lease sale for January 6 — which means that oil giants like Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and others could have drilling leases in hand in less than a month.
This would be an egregious takeover of the lands home to rich wildlife and priceless natural values that are essential to many Indigenous people, particularly the Gwich’in people who call the Refuge “the sacred place where life begins.” Drilling for fossil fuels in the Arctic Refuge is also another setback in our fight to stem the climate crisis.
President-elect Joe Biden has promised to permanently protect the Arctic Refuge from oil companies, and NRDC is already suing in federal court to stop Trump’s Arctic drilling push.
But both those efforts would be set back if Trump succeeds in selling off drilling rights before he exits the White House.
Fortunately, the Interior Department can’t shut your voice out of the process. It can’t poll the oil industry on its wish list without taking public comment too — and we only have until December 17 to make our voices heard. So please take advantage of this brief window to rush a message to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt telling him you strongly oppose selling off the Arctic Refuge for devastating oil and gas drilling.
Drilling would devastate the Arctic Refuge’s coastal plain, which is the birthing ground for the majestic Porcupine River caribou herd that sustains the Gwich’in people, and a key denning ground of America’s polar bears.
Polar bears and other wildlife are already suffering the terrible impacts of a melting Arctic caused by climate change. The last thing they need is for us to invade their habitat to burn more fossil fuels and worsen climate change.
And the Trump administration’s drilling plans will worsen our addiction to oil and accelerate the global climate crisis that threatens our planet’s future.
Oil companies would be the only winners, and the rest of us, especially the Gwich’in people, will suffer an incalculable loss.
NRDC and our allies filed a lawsuit in federal court this summer to stop Trump’s all-out push to drill for oil in the Arctic Refuge. So as Trump escalates this attack on the Arctic, the Gwich’in people, and our climate, NRDC’s legal fight could not be more important.
We need to do everything we can to stop Trump from further stacking the deck against our fight to stop drilling in the Arctic — and that includes mobilizing a massive public outcry that will show the Interior Department that the American public stands against their dangerous proposal.
You can help by submitting a public comment right away opposing Trump’s dangerous Arctic drilling plan.
Niel Lawrence, Alaska Director and Senior Attorney, NRDC
The mission of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is to safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.