Thursday, September 12, 2019

House Votes to Block Drilling in Arctic Refuge

The House on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, Passed legislation that would Block Drilling along the Shoreline of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

The 225-193 Vote in favor of the Bill, which follows the Passage of Two Offshore Drilling Bans on Wednesday, sends a Signal to Senate Republicans and the White House, who have said the Climate Change-focused Legislation has No Future in the Upper Chamber or as a Law.

“Most Americans would agree there are some places so special, so wild, so spectacular, that they have to be off limits to being spoiled by oil and gas development,” said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA, 2nd District), Sponsor of the House Bill. “If you believe that, then surely that proposition has to apply to the Arctic refuge.”

Republicans have long sought Drilling in the 19 Million Acres of Alaskan Wilderness. An Amendment from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) added to the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act brought the Prospect of Drilling closer to reality by Mandating the Government hold Two Lease Sales in the Coastal Plain of ANWR.

The Language was heavily Criticized by Democrats and Conservationists alike. “Thanks to that drilling mandate slipped into their 2017 tax scam, the Trump administration is now recklessly rushing to ruin the Arctic Refuge with oil rigs,” Huffman said.

Thursday's House Vote comes as Lawmakers are facing a dwindling Timeline to act. The Lease Sales prompted by Murkowski’s Amendment are expected to begin shortly. An Environmental Impact Statement analyzing the Project is expected soon, one of the Final Steps before Leases can be Sold.

“Then there’s that mandatory 30-day waiting period and after that it’s open for bidding under law,” said Nora Apter with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The administration has, since the passage of the tax act, been barreling full speed ahead through the environmental review process to get leases out on public lands.”

Democrats argued the U.S. should Stop Exporting its Oil in Order to become Energy Independent and respect Local Voices across the Nation that Oppose Drilling along their Shorelines.

A Companion Bill was introduced in the Senate on Wednesday, but the Legislation, led by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), is unlikely to pass in the Republican-led Chamber.

President Trump has threatened to Veto the House Bill.

“That's a difficult impediment. We got our eyes wide open. But you don't just give up, you continue the fight. The American people are with us. The facts are with us. History is with us. We're going to keep fighting this,” Huffman said.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ, 3rd District) said the Legislation, along with Two Bills Passed Wednesday that Block Drilling on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts and Parts of the Gulf of Mexico, was necessary to Stop the Trump Administration from Drilling “everywhere, every time, without exception.”

The Trump Administration has proven keen to Explore Drilling Options in Alaska and is currently Engaged in a Legal Battle to Undo the Eleventh hour Protections put in place by Former President Obama that Block Drilling in Large Swaths of the Arctic.


Yesterday, by a Vote of 248-180, the House passed H.R. 205, which would Ban Drilling off the Gulf Coast of Florida. The House also Passed H.R. 1941, which would Ban Drilling in the Atlantic and the Pacific, 238-189.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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