Trump Declares War on Alaskan Wildlife Refuge

By Tim Canova

Years ago, I served as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill to the late U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas, a Democrat from Massachusetts. One of Paul’s greatest achievements was his key role in passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, which protected millions of acres of pristine landscape in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Now the Trump administration has just snuck a line item into the federal budget that will open ANWR to oil drilling — all to line the pockets of their giant oil and gas corporate friends and donors.

A polar bear at his native Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

ANWR is a national treasure — the largest pristine landscape in our country and home to many endangered species, such as the Porcupine Caribou, imperiled polar bears, nests for more than 200 species of migrating birds and other unique wildlife, and has been a subsistence hunting ground used by Alaskan indigenous people for thousands of years.

If oil drilling were to take place in ANWR, this federally-protected land would be overwhelmed by sprawling infrastructure, habitat destruction, noise, and pollution that will destroy Arctic wildlife and their ancient migration and birthing patterns. The damage would be irreversible.

Please click here to donate what you can to support our congressional campaign and to help us to oppose oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Please help our campaign to unseat Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a long-time political insider with crony relations with the fossil fuel industry.

As an environmental activist and law professor, I have fought against our dependence on fossil fuels. I have opposed dangerous oil drilling, hydraulic fracturing (otherwise known as “fracking”), and huge pipelines that threaten our lands and waters, from the Keystone XL to the Dakota Access pipeline. More recently, I have helped lead the fight against the Sabal Trail Pipeline right here in Florida.

I have never taken a penny in campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry, I don’t take any corporate money or political action committee (PAC) donations, and I never will. When elected to Congress, I will fight to keep gas and oil in the ground where it belongs to protect our air, water, land, and wildlife. And I will push for conversion to solar, wind and other renewable and sustainable energy sources.

This is in stark contrast to my opponent Debbie Wasserman Schultz who has been awash in corporate money, including from fossil fuels. And she has been largely silent and ineffective in confronting the fossil fuel industry for its hugely destructive role in contributing to climate change and the contamination of our drinking water. This may not be climate denying, but it’s certainly climate hypocrisy.

For 40 years, Congress has successfully blocked the misguided attempts of Big Oil and conservative Republicans to open up ANWR to drilling, even in the time of oil scarcity. Now is not the time to back down! We don’t need more drilling, and certainly not in our Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Instead, America must invest in solar and wind, and we must convert to renewable and sustainable clean energy sources now!

We must defend this beautiful Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for future generations.

Thank you for your continued support.

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