Cantwell Blasts “Sham” Environmental Impact Statement for Drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement slamming the Trump administration’s environmental analysis for oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which will offer the full 1.6 million acres of the refuge's federally-managed coastal plain for lease to oil and gas companies:

“The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is an intact ecosystem with some of the world’s most unique wildlife. It has been protected for decades. Now the Trump administration plans to destroy it by proposing to drill everywhere in the refuge and conducting a sham environmental review process. Instead of living up to their commitment to protect wildlife, they are spreading pollution risk everywhere.” 

The plan released by the administration is the most pro-drilling option considered by the Bureau of Land Management. It will leave just 359,000 acres of the refuge off-limits for drilling.

Throughout her career in the Senate, Cantwell has been a leader in protecting the refuge from oil exploration and drilling. She has cosponsored multiple bills to designate its coastal plain as a wilderness area, including legislation introduced earlier this week. In December of 2005, Cantwell led a historic filibuster that reversed a backdoor maneuver in the Senate to allow drilling in the Arctic Refuge.