No More Refuge From Drilling: Senate Energy to Advance Murkowski Arctic Bill

WASHINGTON – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is set to vote today on a bill drafted by its chairman, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), which would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling.

The following is a statement by Niel Lawrence, Alaska Director for the Land and Wildlife program at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Look up ‘refuge’ in the dictionary.  Webster’s defines it as ‘a place that provides shelter or protection.’  

“Subjecting America’s last pure wildland—its caribou and musk oxen, the coastal plain, and the Gwich’in way of life—to the destruction of seismic testing and oil extraction is the very opposite of providing shelter and protection.

“Instead of cutting billions in tax giveaways to polluters, the Republican tax plan auctions off our public lands, robs taxpayers and pads oil company profits. There’s no amendment to this bill that can mitigate its harm.  The Senate should reject it.” 

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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