We need a strong showing of support from Americans all across the country to help ensure Congress blocks underhanded and backdoor attempts to allowing drilling in this national treasure. As part of that effort, we have a group sign-on letter to help demonstrate national support. Please add your organization to this letter and add your voice to the millions of Americans who want to see the Arctic Refuge protected.
This letter is open to businesses, organizations, community groups (non-individuals) who want to join the call for the Arctic Refuge to remain free from oil and gas development
LETTER TEXT:On behalf of our millions of members across the country, we the undersigned are using our voice to call for protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. During the current public comment period, we are calling on Secretary Zinke to acknowledge the rights of the Gwich’in people and the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans by halting attempts to move forward with drilling in the Arctic Refuge. We urge you to join us in calling on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to stop the pursuit of Arctic Refuge drilling during this comment period. Our businesses and organizations represent a broad and diverse constituency that illustrates how folks throughout this country deeply appreciate our nation’s wild spaces.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of our nation’s most iconic wild areas and it deserves our most enduring legal protections. An immense wilderness, bursting with biodiversity and framed by the awe-inspiring Brooks Mountain Range, the Arctic Refuge is pristine, it is spectacular, and it belongs to all Americans. For more than 50 years, our country has remained committed to protecting this unparalleled landscape, particularly its sensitive coastal plain, and we want to make sure that it remains off-limits to exploration and development for future generations to experience.
The Arctic Refuge’s values are unique and diverse. Home to caribou, musk oxen, wolves and polar bears, the Refuge is an American treasure. Each summer, nearly 200 species of migratory birds come to the Refuge to nest and raise their young before migrating to six continents and all 50 states.
The Refuge is also ground zero for climate change. During the past 40 years, Alaska has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the country. Villages are eroding into the sea, permafrost melt is making infrastructure insecure, and food sources are disappearing. More oil drilling will compound the devastating impacts already being felt from climate change throughout the Arctic.
Proposed Arctic Refuge development is also a human rights issue for the Alaska Native people who depend on it to preserve their way of life and have fought to protect it for time immemorial. The Gwich’in refer to the Refuge’s coastal plain as “The Sacred Place Where Life Begins.” Climate change is taking away Alaska Native communities’ ability to hunt for the very foods that have sustained them for generations. We can’t risk compounding this problem by adding drilling to the equation.
In December, Congress passed a rushed taxed bill that included a provision buried within its two thousand plus pages of text compelling oil and gas lease sales on the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge. This backroom dealing is further exacerbated by the Trump administration’s insistence at aggressively pushing the required processes and procedures in an all-out rush to begin drilling at all costs. This blatant disregard for the law, science and human rights must not go unchecked. We thank you for speaking up for the Arctic Refuge during this critical time.