Protecting America’s vast public lands is a key priority for LCV. The 111th Congress (2009-10) saw the enactment of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act, a landmark piece of legislation that is a collection of over 160 individual bills protecting millions of acres of America’s natural resources. More recently, however, our public lands have been under siege as timber, mining, and oil companies and their allies in Congress have pushed to industrialize more and more of America’s natural heritage, resulting in the 112th Congress (2011-12) being the first Congress since 1966 not to protect a single new acre of pristine wild lands as Wilderness. LCV will keep fighting to conserve our priceless landscapes for the benefit of future generations. At the same time, we will keep advocating for President Obama to continue using his executive authority under the Antiquities Act to protect important ecological, historical, and cultural resources as National Monuments, as he has done for places as diverse as New Mexico’s El Rio Grande Del Norte, Washington’s San Juan Islands, and Virginia’s Fort Monroe.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of America's greatest natural treasures. This vast Alaskan wilderness expanse is virtually untouched by humans and is home to moose, caribou, polar bears, and millions of migratory birds, as well as a unique collection of arctic and sub-arctic landscapes.
Unfortunately, this landscape and the wildlife and fish that depend upon it are at risk. Big Oil and their allies in Washington have long wanted to get their hands on this iconic American wilderness, falsely arguing that the tiny amount of oil found there relative to global oil supply would somehow lower gas prices that are set on a global market. LCV is committed to defending the Refuge’s incomparable landscape from dangerous drilling.
As climate change has warmed the Arctic and led to longer seasons free of sea ice in recent years, Big Oil has pushed to drill in the Arctic Ocean north of Alaska. Taking advantage of the impacts of climate change to drill for more fossil fuels that will worsen climate change is the height of irresponsibility. Indeed, Shell’s disastrous attempts to drill in 2012—culminating in the grounding of its drillship on some rocks during a massive storm—highlighted the risks of operating in such remote, pristine, and unforgiving waters. That is why LCV strongly opposes drilling in the Arctic Ocean.