The Trump administration's assault on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is now underway
The Trump administration just kicked off its race to drill for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Proclaiming that the road to “global energy dominance” leads through Alaska, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has predicted selling leases as soon as next year in the Refuge—a pristine publicly-owned preserve that's home to polar bears, musk oxen, caribou, migratory birds, and the wildest protected lands left in America. The Bureau of Land Management has issued notice that it is commencing the required environmental review process for oil exploration and the heavy infrastructure needed to support it. Development, if opponents do not beat it back, would come at the expense of public lands, delicate ecosystems, our climate, and human rights for the Gwich’in Natives of northern Alaska and Canada, whose way of life has relied upon Refuge lands for thousands of years. Environmental advocates, Democratic lawmakers, and Gwich’in peoples are criticizing the move as reckless and have vowed to fight it every step of the way.