GOP Sacrifices America’s Last Wild Place for Its Tax Scam

The $1.5 trillion bill will open the previously untouched Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas companies.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is now open to drilling, thanks to the GOP tax bill.

Sarko Photo/iStock

It’s official: The Republican-led Congress just voted to approve a reckless $1.5 trillion tax bill that will benefit only the wealthiest of Americans and wreak havoc on the country’s public lands. The tax scheme will open up Alaska’s pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling for the first time ever.

“This is shameful betrayal and a fraud on the American people,” NRDC president Rhea Suh said. “The purpose of setting a sanctuary aside is to keep it safe from exactly this kind of industrial—and permanent—ruin. The last thing the country needs is more fossil fuel development in a pristine and ecologically vital area.”

The Arctic Refuge, permanently set aside by President Eisenhower in 1960, encompasses 19.6 million acres of spectacular, unspoiled nature that teems with wildlife. Congress offered up the country’s largest and wildest publicly owned reserve earlier this month in an attempt to pay for its tax scam. But the move was really just another ploy to favor the profits of big polluters over the interests of the American people—an all-too-common theme under this administration.

“This is merely the latest gambit in a GOP campaign to liquidate our public lands and waters,” Suh said. “We will fight at every turn to preserve the country’s treasured places for our children and grandchildren.”

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