House bill would reverse progress on Arctic protections

USFWS/Lisa Hupp | Public Domain

The House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing to consider the “Alaska’s Right to Produce Act of 2023” (HR 6285). If passed, this bill will reverse Biden administration actions to protect more than 10 million acres of Western Arctic widlife habitat and the cancelation of leases in the Arctic Refuge. Below is our letter in opposition to this bill.


November 29, 2023

Dear Chairman Stauber, Ranking Member Ocasio-Cortez and members of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources:

The Arctic region of Alaska boasts vast landscapes that are home to thousands of species of wildlife. Indigenous people have lived on this land for centuries, relying on caribou and other animals for food, clothing and spiritual connection. Arctic wildlife are already struggling with climate change and needing to adjust to warmer, changing habitats. To give them a fighting chance at long-term survival, we need to safeguard what’s left of their home. That requires no leasing and no drilling.  

The Biden administration has taken important steps toward protecting this critical region including canceling the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority’s (AIDEA) leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and kicking off a rulemaking process to protect more than 13 million acres of critical habitat in the Western Arctic Reserve. We are writing to oppose the “Alaska’s Right to Produce Act of 2023” (HR 6285) which would reverse this progress and take us in the wrong direction. As our nation and the world transition toward clean energy sources, millions of acres set aside for nature will be a gift to future generations. We must not destroy it by drilling for the last drops of oil.


Lisa Frank, Executive Director Washington Legislative Office
Ellen Montgomery, Public Lands Campaign Director


Ellen Montgomery

Director, Public Lands Campaign, Environment America

Ellen runs campaigns to protect America's beautiful places, from local beachfronts to remote mountain peaks. Prior to her current role, Ellen worked as the organizing director for Environment America’s Climate Defenders campaign. Ellen lives in Denver, where she likes to hike in Colorado's mountains.

Lisa Frank

Executive Director, Washington Legislative Office, Environment America; Vice President and D.C. Director, The Public Interest Network

Lisa directs strategy and staff for Environment America's federal campaigns. She also oversees The Public Interest Network's Washington, D.C., office and operations. She has won millions of dollars in investments in walking, biking and transit, and has helped develop strategic campaigns to protect America's oceans, forests and public lands from drilling, logging and road-building. Lisa is an Oregonian transplant in Washington, D.C., where she loves hiking, running, biking, and cooking for friends and family.

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