In 2015, The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission noted 25 instances of regulatory violations and stated boldly: “Hilcorp’s conduct is inexcusable” and “The disregard for regulatory complianceis endemic to Hilcorp’s approach to its Alaska operations.” In 2015, they were fined $100,000 for Clean Water Act violations following a 10,000-gallon crude oil and produced water spill at Milne Point. In the last five years, Hilcorp has reported 102 oil and hazardous substance spills on the North Slope.
“The Gwich’in have been fighting for decades to protect the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, known to them as “Iizhik Gwats’an Gwandaii Goodlit” (The Sacred Place Where Life Begins). The Trump administration is taking aggressive steps to fast track plans to give oil and gas companies the right to drill on these lands. Drilling will destroy intact wilderness and violate the human rights of the Gwich’in, who rely on this sacred place to sustain their culture and way of life.
The Gwich’in are fighting to protect their future, but they can’t win this battle alone.“
Trump is pushing the lease sales through before Biden takes office.We need to help! But how did we get here?
The GOP’s 2017 Tax Act (aka “scam”) not only included ±$1.7 trillion of goodies for the richest amongst us, but also a gift to the president’s fossil fuel supporters – 400,000 acres of the Coastal Plain in the Arctic National Wildlife Refugewould be opened to oil and gas leasing within 4 years, with a second lease sale within 7 years, all based on the fairy-tale estimation that the “1002 Area” would produce a $1.8 billion windfall for the treasury. The Act also stipulated that there can be up to 2000 acres of surface infrastructure, and rewrote the purpose of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as stated in ANILCA (1980) to include providing “for an oil and gas program on the Coastal Plain.”
So here we are. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is now in the final phase of the process to hold a lease sale (“Record of Decision” document here) – which they expect to start as soon as January! Of the four options outlined in the “draft Environmental Impact Statement” (DEIS) (described at the bottom of this post), soon-to-be-ex-Dept. of the Interior Sec. David Bernhardt picked the worst of the worst – Plan “B,” which puts up for lease the entire Coastal Plain, 1.5 million acres, far more than required by the Tax Act, with minimal requirements. Under “Mitigation Measures” in the final report (p.19), Bernhardt promises only that “This Decision includes all practicable and reasonable means to avoid or minimize environmental harm consistent with the purpose and need of the action…” which is drilling.
Comment to stop the drilling TONIGHT March 13, deadline 10:59 PDThere.
PDF versions of planning documents here.
USE YOUR OWN WORDS. IDENTICAL scripts will not be counted!!! Length not important but if you’re composing your comment the site, note that you have 60 minutes before it will close on you.
Comment: I strongly oppose any option but Alternate A – do nothing. Studying the Environmental Impact Studies, full of unverifiable assumptions and unwarranted trust in the benevolence of oil industry employees as defacto national park officials, has convinced me that there will be unmitigable damage to a national treasure. The only winners here will be politicians who can crow over delivering our refuge to a cadre of international fossil-fuel interests, who will extract as fast as they can with little oversight and walk away from the damage they leave behind.
As the video plays, use your mouse to click-and-drag on the video to pan around 360°. Best viewed in full screen. Please turn on sound to hear the narration.
Action #1 – Support H.R. 1146 – Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced H.R. 1146, that would ban oil and natural gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).” This legislation would repeal a portion of the 2018 tax-cut that okayed such drilling. Let’s let our reps know that we want this to pass so that that ANWR can remain a pristine environment and not be lost to greed.
Rep-check here. Brownley and Carbajal are among the 115 cosponsors, including 2 GOP.
Minimum script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want to thank Rep. [___] for cosigning H.R. 1146 – “Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Protection Act.”
Action #2 – Support H.R. 309 – Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2019
H.R. 309 prohibits the Department of the Interior from issuing or renewing a lease or any other authorization for the exploration, development, or production of oil, natural gas, or any other mineral in the Arctic Ocean, including the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea Planning Areas.
Rep-check here. Brownley hasn’t signed yet. Carbajal is one of 35 cosponsors.
Minimum script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want to Rep. [___] to cosign H.R. 309 – “Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2019.”
Contact: Rep. Julia Brownley:email, (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779 or Rep. Salud Carbajal:email. (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348 Who is my representative/senator?: hq-salsa.wiredforchange.com
Action #3 – Write a comment to stop drilling in the Arctic National Wilderness Area here. – Deadline 3/13, (Wed.) 10:59 pm PDT (9:59 Alaska Time)