H.R. 3407, the “Drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Act”
April 2012 Update: As part of H.R. 3408, which was an attempt to fund United States transportation infrastructure with miniscule drilling revenues, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would mandate drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. A bipartisan group of members tried to defeat this bill, which would endanger this pristine refuge, and put all United States national wildlife refuges at risk, but it was not enough to overcome House leadership. The bill in now in conference with the Senate, which passed its own transportation bill funded without drilling in the Arctic Refuge.
H.R. 3407, the “American Energy Independence and Price Reduction Act,” or Drill the Arctic Refuge Act, would open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Arctic Refuge) to oil and gas drilling, eviscerating the protections now afforded to “America’s Serengeti Plain.” The case for drilling in the Arctic Refuge has been debunked over and over again, as some members of Congress repeatedly attempt to open up one of the most environmentally sensitive areas in the country to oil and gas development.
This area was first deemed too important to drill some 50 years ago, when under the Eisenhower administration it was first set aside for wildlife conservation. Besides being an essential habitat to many Arctic species, there is much skepticism as to how much oil could even be recovered from the area. According to the Energy Information Administration, Arctic Refuge “oil production would amount to 0.4 percent to 1.2 percent of total world oil consumption in 2030. The figure is low enough that OPEC could neutralize any price impact by decreasing supplies to match the additional -production from Alaska.”
The Arctic Refuge is too valuable to be destroyed as an oil and gas field. But year in and year out the oil and gas industry’s congressional allies continue their efforts to destroy this fragile natural ecosystem.