Today, the U.S. Senate is voting on a tax bill that would open America’s unspoiled Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling and maintains billion in tax breaks for Big Oil while stifling the growing solar energy sector. Environment America’s DC Office Director, Anna Aurilio, issued the following statement in response:
“By handing over America’s pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and keeping billions in existing subsidies, the Senate tax bill is a bonanza for Big Oil. After months of global warming-fueled extreme weather and wildfires, and decades of air and water pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, it has never been more important to shift our country toward a 100% renewable energy future. We can protect our families’ health and environment and save our treasured landscapes by getting more clean wind and solar on the grid and shifting to cars that emit zero tailpipe pollution. Yet the Senate bill takes us in exactly the wrong direction.
The bill opens up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of the last truly wild places on earth, to irreversible damage from oil and gas drilling. The incredibly beautiful Refuge supports an impressive diversity of wildlife: caribou, polar bears, black and grizzly bears, arctic foxes, moose, muskoxen and more than 200 species of migratory birds. Opening this rugged wilderness to oil and gas drilling would threaten these creatures and the ecosystem with spills and pollution.
Not only will Big Oil retain most of the massive incentives it’s exploited for years, the fossil fuel industry will also benefit from some corporate tax changes in the bill — to the tune of tens of billions of dollars over the next decade. In addition, an obscure provision buried in the Senate Tax bill would stifle development of solar by undercutting the value of solar projects in financial markets.”
The House tax bill isn’t any better. It also continues subsidies to Big Oil. Adding insult to injury, it also eliminates incentives for electric vehicles and slashes wind energy credits by at least one-third.
It’s time for our leaders to reject this bill to help ensure a cleaner, healthier energy future for America, and to project the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of the places that makes all of the United States great.”