How did your senators vote on Arctic Refuge drilling?

Image by Hugh Rose

The Senate just paved the way for oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by passing a sneaky, backdoor drilling provision in its 2018 federal budget bill.

The move poses a grave threat to the Arctic Refuge after more than 40 years of bipartisan support for protections. 

"Americans should be outraged at the shameless hijacking of the federal budget process. This fight is far from over. Now is the time for Americans across the country to speak out. Congress cannot sneak this through the back door when they think nobody is looking. The Arctic Refuge is simply too fragile and special to drill, and we have a moral obligation to protect it for future generations of Americans," said Wilderness Society President in a statement following the vote

Located in northern Alaska, the refuge is remarkably wild and primitive, a critical home to polar bears, caribou, wolves, muskoxen and dozens of bird species. With oil exploration and development, the area would become the site of vast networks of roads, pipelines and noisy machinery.  

Alaska's senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, well-known drilling advocates, led the effort to pass the Senate's backdoor drilling provision, but they did not win without a fight.  Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. offered an amendment to strip the Arctic Refuge language from the budget explaining that the impacts would not be worth a year's worth of oil at a time when America has an oversupply.  The amendment was supported by Senate democrats, including Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo. However, it was narrowly defeated by 52 to 48. We applaud this champions and encourage them to continue to fight for the refuge in the coming months.

See how your senators voted on the Arctic amendment

The battle is not over yet. The Senate's drilling provision is just the first step towards drilling in the Arctic Refuge. It requires the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to draft instructions to reduce the federal deficit through revenues created by oil and gas leasing in the refuge. The House has already passed a similar budget provision, but both houses of Congress must now work to reconcile their budget versions before final passage and delivery to the president. During that process, Americans should do all they can to pressure Congress to strip the Arctic provision before a final budget is voted on by Congress. 

How does this threat compare to past threats to the refuge? For decades, pro-drilling advocates have lobbied to open the refuge to drilling. Conservationists have successfully defeated every attempt in large part due to the bipartisan support for protecting this magnificent wild place.

Most notably, pro-drilling Congress members tried a similar budget trick back in 1995, but it was vetoed by President Bill Clinton. 

Sadly, with Trump in the White House, there are no safety buffers in the form of presidential veto. Trump has already called for Arctic Refuge drilling in his budget request to Congress in the spring. 

The only way to stop this effort from destroying one of our nation's greatest treasures is to stop it before it gets to the president's desk.

 

Did your senators vote to drill in the Arctic Refuge?

 

State

Senator

Party

Voted to drill in the Arctic Refuge?

Alabama 

Shelby 

Strange 

YES 

YES 

Alaska 

Murkowski 

Sullivan 

YES 

YES 

Arizona 

McCain 

Flake 

YES

YES 

Arkansas 

Boozman 

Cotton 

YES 

YES 

California 

Feinstein

Harris

NO 

NO 

Colorado 

Bennet 

Gardner 

NO 

YES

Connecticut 

Blumenthal 

Murphy 

NO 

NO 

Delaware 

Carper 

Coons 

NO 

NO 

Florida 

Nelson 

Rubio 

NO 

YES 

Georgia 

Isakson 

Perdue 

YES 

YES 

Hawaii 

Hirono 

Schatz 

NO 

NO 

Idaho 

Crapo 

Risch 

YES 

YES 

Illinois 

Duckworth 

Durbin 

NO 

NO 

Indiana 

Donnely 

Young 

NO

YES 

Iowa 

Ernst 

Grassley 

YES 

YES 

Kansas 

Moran 

Roberts 

YES 

YES 

Kentucky 

McConnell 

Paul 

YES 

YES 

Louisiana  

Cassidy 

Kennedy 

YES 

YES 

Maine 

Collins 

King 

NO

NO

Maryland 

Cardin 

Van Hollen 

NO 

NO 

Massachusetts 

Markey 

Warren 

NO 

NO 

Michigan 

Peters 

Stabenow 

NO 

NO 

Minnesota 

Franken 

Klobuchar 

NO 

NO 

Mississippi  

Cochran 

Wicker 

YES 

YES 

Missouri 

Blunt 

McCaskill 

YES 

NO 

Montana 

Daines 

Tester 

YES 

NO 

Nebraska 

Fischer 

Sasse 

YES 

YES 

Nevada 

Cortez Masto 

Heller 

NO 

YES

New Hampshire 

Hassan 

Shaheen 

NO 

NO 

New Jersey 

Booker 

Menendez 

NO 

New Mexico 

Heinrich 

Udall 

NO 

NO 

New York  

Gillibrand 

Shumer 

NO 

NO 

North Carolina 

Burr 

Tillis 

YES 

YES 

North Dakota 

Hoeven 

Heitkamp 

YES 

NO 

Ohio 

Brown 

Portman 

NO 

YES 

Oklahoma 

Inhofe 

Lankford 

YES 

YES 

Oregon 

Merkley 

Wyden 

NO 

NO 

Pennsylvania 

Casey 

Toomey 

NO 

YES 

Rhode Island 

Reed 

Whitehouse 

NO 

NO 

South Carolina 

Graham 

Scott 

YES 

YES 

South Dakota 

Rounds 

Thune 

YES 

YES 

Tennessee 

Alexander 

Corker 

YES 

YES 

Texas 

Cornyn 

Cruz 

YES 

YES 

Utah 

Lee 

Risch 

YES 

YES 

Vermont 

Leahy 

Sanders 

NO 

NO 

Virgina 

Kaine 

Warner 

NO 

NO 

Washington  

Cantwell 

Murray 

NO 

NO 

West Virginia 

Capito 

Manchin 

YES 

YES

Wisconsin 

Baldwin 

Johnson 

NO 

YES 

Wyoming 

Barrasso 

Enzi 

YES 

YES 

 

 

 

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