Press ReleaseNov 14, 2011
Markey, Lieberman, and 70+ Members of Congress Push Interior Dept. to Protect Arctic RefugeIssues: National Wildlife Refuges
Ask for Wilderness Designation as GOP Pushes for Refuge Giveaway to Oil Companies
WASHINGTON (November 15, 2011) - Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and more than 70 of their colleagues in the House and Senate today pushed the Interior Department to protect the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from damaging oil and gas exploration by recommending its designation as a wilderness area. The request comes as some in the House push to open up the pristine coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge to drilling.
"The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a pristine landscape with values unlike any other public lands in our nation. Its wilderness, ecological integrity, wildlife, recreational opportunities, and Alaska Native cultural and subsistence values are unmatched," write Markey, Lieberman and the other members. "Oil and gas leasing, exploration, development, and production, including seismic activity, support infrastructure or any geological surveys are entirely incompatible with the purposes of the Refuge, and would permanently harm the values for which the Arctic Refuge was established."
Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee, where Rep. Markey is the top Democrat, will hold a legislative hearing this Friday, November 18 on a proposal to open up the Arctic Refuge to drilling. Drilling supporters are claiming this is intended to help pay for transportation funding, but the Refuge drilling bill would come up woefully short in creating a funding stream for America's roads and bridges.
The full letter to Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar can be found HERE.