WASHINGTON – Today, the Trump administration announced the beginning of a 14-day comment period on a proposal to allow destructive seismic exploration on 450,000 acres of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
One of the world’s last intact ecosystems, the Arctic Refuge is one of the few places in the United States that has never been developed or industrialized. Seismic exploration in the coastal plain—considered the biological heart of the Arctic Refuge and sacred land to the Gwich’in people—would bring industrial vehicles and equipment to this sensitive and pristine area, threatening wildlife including denning mother and baby polar bears, and leaving permanent scars on the landscape.
A previous plan to allow seismic testing across the entire coastal plain was tabled last year in the face of significant public opposition.
In response, Sierra Club Senior Campaign Representative Mike Scott released the following statement:
“The vast majority of Americans do not want to see the Arctic Refuge scarred by drilling. Rather than listen to the people, the Trump administration is trying to sneak through its unpopular plans with limited opportunity for public input or review. These activities would do severe and permanent damage to this sensitive wilderness and the wildlife and communities that depend on it before a single drill rig has even been permitted. We will continue to explore all legal avenues to ensure that oil exploration never happens in this sacred place.”