Up for vote tomorrow, the Roberts Amendment #1826 reads like a wish list for Big Oil. Ignoring environmental standards, slashing oversight on oil and gas development, and putting the pocketbooks of oil companies above all else, this amendment would undo all the environmental progress made in the Senate over the past week –and then some.
Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) calls opening the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the degradations of oil and gas development “energy production incentives,” but his amendment ignores the fragile nature of this untouched ecosystem. Already threatened by climate change, the Arctic Refuge is home to over 200 wildlife species, and is extremely vulnerable to the dangers of oil spills and disruptions of oil and gas exploration.
Additionally, this amendment requires that nearly every coastline in America be made available for drilling leases, forces the Secretary of the Interior to open federal lands in the west to the inefficient and dirty process of oil shale extraction, and approves the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline without environmental review.