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September 9, 2019
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
RE: Support H.R. 1146, the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) works to turn environmental values into national priorities. Each year, LCV publishes the National Environmental Scorecard, which details the voting records of members of Congress on environmental legislation. The Scorecard is distributed to LCV members, concerned voters nationwide, and the media.
We urge you to vote YES on H.R. 1146, the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act, which would restore protections against drilling on the pristine and sacred coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
H.R. 1146 seeks to overturn a mandate in the 2017 tax bill to hold two oil and gas lease sales in the Refuge’s coastal plain. The Arctic Refuge is home to the Gwich’in people who call the Refuge’s coastal plain “the sacred place where life begins,” reflecting the vitality of the area as the cultural and biological heart of the Refuge and the importance of the plain as a place where the Porcupine Caribou herd, the Gwich’in’s most sacred spiritual symbol and source of sustenance, migrates to calf. The Refuge is also one of America’s wildest landscapes housing magnificent wildlife such as polar and brown bears, muskoxen, and birds that migrate from all 50 states and 6 continents.
Throughout the country, there is widespread public opposition to oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Refuge: Approximately 70 percent of people in this country oppose development in the Arctic Refuge. Furthermore, the development of this land could create ecological catastrophes for little revenue gained. In 2017, the administration projected estimated revenues of $1.8 billion in the next decade from drilling in the Arctic Refuge. However, the most recent reports show estimated gains of only $20.8 million in the next decade.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain is the pinnacle of American wilderness, invaluable for wildlife, and crucial for the livelihoods of the Gwich’in people. We must not give up this biological and cultural majesty to short-sighted economic gains. LCV strongly urges you to support H.R. 1146 and oppose any amendments that undermine the legislation. We will strongly consider including this vote in the 2019 Scorecard. If you need more information, please call my office at (202) 785-8683 and ask to speak with a member of our government relations team.