Two Democratic lawmakers and one GOP House member introduced legislation Monday to ban oil and natural gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, The Hill reported.
The bill from Reps. Jared Huffmanm, D-Calif., Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., would repeal a section of the 2017 GOP tax law that opened, for the first time, part of the refuge for drilling.
“Not only is the refuge one of the last great expanses of untouched wilderness in America, it is home to to tremendous ecological diversity,” Huffman said at a news conference, the news outlet reported. “It’s one of the last bastions of true wildness left on the planet.
“This is a deeply unpopular thing in the United States. People don’t want it. They haven’t asked for it. And they will not accept that the wildest place in our country is on track to be sacrificed at the altar of big oil.”
Fitzpatrick voted for the 2017 tax bill, but has stated his opposition to the wildlife refuge drilling provision, The Hill noted.
Interior’s Bureau of Land Management is working on the environmental review for drilling, which must be completed before it can sell leases. Officials aim to hold the first auction in 2020, The Hill reported.
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