In a historic vote, the U.S. House of Representatives today passed critical legislation, the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act (H.R. 1146), which would stop the Trump administration’s dangerous scheme to allow the industrialization of the Arctic Refuge. Led by Reps. Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), H.R. 1146 would repeal a provision in the 2017 GOP Tax Bill mandating oil and gas lease sales in the Refuge’s coastal plain.
The House floor passage comes at a pivotal point in the fight to save the Refuge: Just hours after the floor vote, the Trump administration released its final Environmental Impact Statement for oil and gas leasing, setting off a mandatory 30-day waiting period, after which the Arctic Refuge will be open for bidding.
The Trump administration’s moves to open these lands to oil and gas development not only disregard the majority of Americans who want to see these sacred lands protected. Handing one of America’s last wild places over to polluters is also fiscally irresponsible, contrary to science, and an affront to Indigenous rights.
This legislation is the only permanent way to protect the Arctic Refuge—its native people, irreplaceable public lands, iconic wildlife, and fragile climate—from irreversible harm.
By prioritizing this vote on H.R. 1146, House Democrats--joined by Republican Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, Francis Rooney, Chris Smith and Elise Stefanik--are sending a strong signal to the two-thirds of Americans who oppose drilling in the Arctic Refuge that they are committed to winning this fight.
Join NRDC in thanking these members of Congress for voting to protect the Arctic Refuge on the House floor!