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Author Topic: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️  (Read 77873 times)

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1320 on: April 30, 2018, 07:52:17 pm »
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders <Senator@sanders.senate.gov>

April 30, 2018

Dear Mr. Gelbert:

Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I share your views on protecting the area, and I was deeply disappointed, but not surprised, when my colleagues decided to hand this treasured public land over to the fossil fuel industry to pay for massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest people in this country.   

Established by Congress in 1980 through the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the 19 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is the largest National Wildlife Refuge in the country. This national treasure contains a remarkably diverse set of ecosystems that are home to hundreds of iconic species like caribou, polar bears, grizzly bears, musk ox, and wolves. ANWR is also home to the Cwich’in people, a Native American tribe that has relied on the region’s undeveloped lands and natural resources for thousands of years. 

In addition to its immense cultural and ecological value, this national treasure has long been of great interest to gas and oil companies who want to drill in its northern coastal plain region. For over 40 years, the fossil fuel industry has lobbied congress to open ANWR for drilling. On December 22nd, they finally succeeded when President Trump signed on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which opens up ANWR’s northern coastal plain for drilling and fossil fuel infrastructure development. To my mind, there are several reasons why opening up one of our nation’s most wild and iconic landscapes to oil and gas development is exactly the wrong thing to do. 

First, nearly forty years of conservation science and administrative policy have established that drilling would be devastating to ANWR’s delicate and unique ecosystems. In particular, development would severely disrupt the majestic Porcupine Caribou herd, which represents an essential subsistence and spiritual resource that the Gwich’in people have relied on for thousands of years. Protecting these caribou and the Gwich’in way of life is a matter of basic human rights.

Second, at a time when we are already seeing the disastrous effects of global climate chance, it does not make any sense drill for more of the dirty fossil fuels that are already destroying our planet. The United States already wastes tens of billions each year providing corporate welfare to the coal, oil, and gas companies that are destroying our planet. We should be working to keep fossil fuels in the ground, not destroying our precious natural resources so we can give more special favors to the fossil fuel industry.   

Finally, my colleagues opened up ANWR as a way to pay for tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest people in this country. In fact, the most optimistic projections say that drilling will offset less than one percent of those tax cuts, and even then, my colleagues’ tax legislation will still increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. This comes at a time when the wealthiest Americans are already doing phenomenally well and ordinary, working class families are struggling just to get by. We should not be drilling at all, and we most certainly should not be drilling in order to finance tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. 

Now is not the time to despair. We have got to continue the fight to cut greenhouse gas emissions and protect clean air and water for future generations. As a member of the Senate energy and environment committees, I will keep your thoughts in mind as I continue to speak out against the detrimental actions of this administration and fight to radically transform our energy system with or without the support of Donald Trump and the fossil fuel industry. 

Thank you again for contacting me, and please feel free to stay in touch about this or any other subject of interest to you.  For up-to-date information on what I am working on, please sign-up for my e-newsletter, the Bernie Buzz, at http://sanders.senate.gov/buzz/.


United States Senator
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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