WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman announced today he is introducing the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act, which aims to restore protections against oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Erik DuMont, Public Lands Campaign Director for Environment America, issued the follow the statement:
“Today, we applaud the strong leadership of Congressman Jared Huffman. The coastal plain is the heart of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is not only America’s biggest wildlife refuge, but is also the crown jewel of our public lands system. Allowing industrial oil development on the plain would devastate its rich and fragile ecosystem. Drilling in this area would likely displace the Porcupine caribou herd from their prime calving grounds, leading to a decrease in the survival rate of the calves and decimating the overall size of the herd.. But that’s just the start. It would disrupt nesting grounds for dozens of species of migratory birds who flock there from every U.S. state and six continents. And, even just doing seismic testing, would likely cause irreparable harm to our iconic polar bears. Representative Huffman’s bill provides hope that we can prevent this catastrophic outcome. Congress should pass this legislation and restore the coastal plain’s protection, which is the safeguard it so thoroughly deserves.”