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Drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge One Step Closer

Drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge One Step Closer thumbnail

The U.S. Department of the Interior has taken another step towards allowing oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by issuing a draft environmental impact statement for the leasing program proposed for the 1002 Area (coastal plain).

In 2017, Congress mandated the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to establish a program for the development of the Coastal Plain, and last week the Bureau of Land Management released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program for public review and comment. The first lease sale will be held after the Final EIS and Record of Decision is issued and will offer over 400,000 acresfor bid.

“An energy-dominant America starts with an energy-dominant Alaska, and among the scores of accomplishments we have had at Interior under President Donald J. Trump, taking these steps toward opening the 1002 section of Alaska’s North Slope stands out among the most impactful toward bolstering America’s economic strength and security,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.

“Alaskans have anticipated the release of the draft environmental statement for decades,” said Alaska Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy. “My administration and Alaskans overwhelmingly support Arctic National Wildlife Refuge development, and we are eager to inform and educate our fellow Americans that it will be done utilizing the highest environmental standards and safeguards to protect its land, waters and wildlife.”

The American Petroleum Institute (API) says the coastal plain is a small portion of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. API Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito. “Responsible access to the Arctic region is in our national security interest, with other nations like Russia, Canada and Norway already actively exploring the area.”

According to a 2005 review by the U.S. Geological Survey, the 1002 Area contains an estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil. At peak production, the 1002 Area could supply up to 1.45 million barrels of oil per day. Opening a small portion of the coastal plain to energy production could create tens of thousands of American jobs and contribute to significant economic growth, says the API. In addition, development is estimated to bring in between $150 billion and $296 billion in new federal revenue.

At 19.3 million acres, the refuge is home to some of the most diverse and iconic populations of wildlife in the Arctic, including polar and grizzly bears, wolves and the Porcupine caribou herd. Set between the foothills of the Brooks Range and the Arctic Ocean, the refuge’s coastal plain contains the most important land denning habitat for polar bears across America’s Arctic coast. Birds from all 50 states migrate to the refuge, including the snowy owl and semipalmated sandpiper.

The Center for Biological Diversity says that publicly the administration promised a fair and robust review process. In reality it has placed arbitrary deadlines and limitations on the environmental review every step of the way.

“The Gwich’in nation opposes any development in the calving grounds of the Porcupine Caribou Herd,” said Bernadette Demientieff, executive director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee. “The rush and fast pace that they are moving in only proves that they have no intention of addressing our concerns. 95 percent of the Arctic is opened to oil and gas. Leave the remaining five percent alone. Our animals need somewhere clean and healthy to go. That’s what the coastal plain provides: a refuge for our animals. The Gwich’in have a cultural and spiritual connection to the Porcupine caribou herd. Drilling in the Arctic Refuge is a direct attack on our way of life.”

“Of all of the Trump administration’s conservation rollbacks, the drive to sell off one of America’s wildest places for dirty, high-risk oil-drilling ranks among the worst,” said Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society. “Americans have no desire to drill the Arctic Refuge, and this action is pure pandering to special interests in the oil lobby.”

“Nothing could be more reckless than drilling for oil in a wildlife refuge,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Once we industrialize our last great Alaskan wilderness areas, there’s no going back. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is where we must make a stand against Trump’s ignorance and greed. Here is where we protect our environment or accept climate chaos and the extinction crisis.”


31 Comments on "Drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge One Step Closer"

  1. Spoonman on Sun, 23rd Dec 2018 6:33 am 

    You got to love trumps logic in order to make America great again you going to have to live in a more polluted and toxic planet who gives a f$&k about 3rd world countries

  2. Robert John McMonagle, PhD on Sun, 23rd Dec 2018 7:25 am 

    For more information on ANWR, see my book,Caribou & Conoco (Lexington Books /Rowman & Littlefield, 2008).

  3. Sissyfuss on Sun, 23rd Dec 2018 10:27 am 

    The race for what’s left disregards borders or any other human designated artificiality. Wherever you find the bottom of the energy barrel you will us bipedal hominids scraping away.

  4. DerHundistLos on Sun, 23rd Dec 2018 12:18 pm 


    Money trumps all. One more nail for the coffin of ecological collapse.

  5. United States of Evil on Sun, 23rd Dec 2018 1:42 pm 

    “According to a 2005 review by the U.S. Geological Survey, the 1002 Area contains an estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil.”

    That’s like 20 months worth at America’s current consumption level. What a waste.

  6. shortonoil on Sun, 23rd Dec 2018 2:40 pm 

    The West Sachs; it has been known about for over 70 years. Very heavy oil in a brutally cold climate. At $28/ barrel for Canadian heavy, it will be there for another 70 years, and more likely 700. Studies by EXXON put extraction possible at $125. This must be another one of those promo articles put out by the Alaskan Camber of Commerce.

  7. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 23rd Dec 2018 4:42 pm 

    If there is a spill,
    and crude oil gets all
    over the moose,
    That’s when Alaskans call
    it a Chocolafe Mousse.

  8. DMyers on Sun, 23rd Dec 2018 7:47 pm 

    The call to drill in natural preserves and sanctuaries has been going on since the oil crisis of the 1970s. This resembles the abortion issue, in reverse. In the abortion battle, conservatives claim moral superiority, while in the drill baby drill (DBD) stand-off, the liberals espouse their moral superiority.

    The argument against exploiting natural preserves is based on an ethic that we must preserve certain areas in pristine form, in order that future generations will be able to experience and study those original conditions. Another argument regards the threat to wildlife, especially the unleashing of extinction-causing ruination to some life form or another, a havoc that humans are not morally authorized to wreak.

    The DBDers assert that the Earth is a human domain, i.e., a place given to humans for their own advantage, in whatever manner It may enable that cause. We cannot allow any group or political bloc to restrict the God-given potential of human advancement. The interests of humans must outweigh the interests of lower animals, as the self-evident hierarchy proves.

    The above is simplified but intended as a close approximation of the positions taken. Between these, there is no answer that is correct, objectively speaking. In essence, each of these positions involves a valuation of one trade off over another, as the adoption of either leads to both good and bad outcomes.

    When all is said and done, I doubt that Trump will prevail against the moral outrage in this particular situation. After all, the frackers are bringing home the bacon by destroying other natural habitats, under license that is already approved.

    We’re not so desperate yet, according to the DBDers own calculations. That is looking like maybe a hundred years out.

    Trump will notice the “US oil production is booming” narrative at some point, sense the path of political expediency, and he’ll turn this whole thing into a celebration of our new, grandly achieved oil bounty, which makes it possible to preserve our precious natural habitats.

  9. Uncle Bill on Sun, 23rd Dec 2018 10:17 pm 

    That’s why national parks, nature perserves and the like are just temporary standby’s to appear we are preserving. By a stroke of a pen it can be all developed.
    That’s what EARTH FIRST! Was all about.
    Dave Foreman saw it over and over again in Washington DC. We need more timber for the housing industry….allow this region to be clearcutted to provide more supply and well replant with a one type of fast growing tree in a plantation.
    Never mind all the wildlife is killed.
    Lots of tricks being played out right now.
    Will catch up with us eventually.

  10. DerHundistLos on Mon, 24th Dec 2018 12:57 am 

    “liberals espouse their moral superiority”


    That may be your opinion why conservationists work to preserve habitats, but it is mistaken to apply your reasoning as justification for the actions of others.

    Personally, I have never encountered this sentiment- never. Scientists and private citizens who are truly on the front lines of making a difference for the world are motivated by doing what’s right and just. Nothing more.

    I have purchased and donated thousands of hectares of habitat in Colombia so I might espouse my moral superiority. Sure, that explains everything.

    It’s amazing to me how jaded some people have become, and how this mindset contaminates their world view.

  11. Cloggie on Mon, 24th Dec 2018 4:11 am 

    “Ocean Cleanup” project runs into (temporary) trouble:

    After a couple of months of operation, the ambitious project of cleaning the world’s oceans from plastic has run into trouble. Redesigning is necessary.

  12. Go Speed Racer on Mon, 24th Dec 2018 4:32 am 

    Clogster I told ya long time ago,
    that pile of shit Acme ocean cleaner
    will never work. And I was right.
    Just more stupid ideas from people
    who don’t know how to think. And the
    media fawns over them and the government
    funds them.
    What they need to do is make littering a felony.
    Globally. That would fix the problem.
    But the liberals dont want to solve the problem. They just want to
    force political correctness on everybody.

  13. Cloggie on Mon, 24th Dec 2018 4:43 am 

    Making it a felony won’t work because it can’t be enforced.

    The oceans can be cleaned up with 60 or so vessels, eventually. It shouldn’t be too difficult to sweep the oceans clean from (surface) plastic.

    But more important, in parallel, old-school plastic production must stop. The EU has produced legislation to that effect:

  14. deadly on Mon, 24th Dec 2018 5:42 am 

    You have to remember that if it weren’t for crude oil, the whales would have been toast fifty years ago or more. Crude oil saved the whales from extinction by those wily humans. Nothing gets in their way, it either dies or is used until its gone.

    Native Americans ran herds of buffalo over cliffs. The way to hunt buffalo if you want to make it through the winter.

    Shooting them all day long with Sharps 50 caliber rifles is the stupid white man way to hunt those worthless buffalo. lol

    Lots of trees in Alaska, they carpet the place, grow like grass out there in the boonies. Mile upon mile of slowing growing trees in the Alaskan taiga.

    What could be done is to use those trees to make methanol, a green energy, methanol can power internal combustion engines. Not really hurting anybody in that wilderness, clearcutting land areas will be an advantage, you’ll be able to grow new trees while making a combustible liquid fuel.

    How can you argue with that? You can’t.

    It’s going to be an easier job to make methanol compared to drilling for oil, so it can work. Too many trees up there in the middle of the place anyhow, might as well make good use of those scrub trees and power civilization without drilling for oil all of the time.

    It can work.

    19.3 million acres converted to square miles, divide by 640, is 30,156.25 square miles, or about half the size of Iowa.

    Alaska is 567,000 square miles, so the amount of land is approximately six percent of all of the area of Alaska.

    Mother Earth can handle that much sacrifice and more, therefore, humans will maintain control of the world’s resources and manage to exploit them the best way they know how, abject destruction will be the result.

    Nobody cares anyway, so what difference does it make?

    If forested lands can be clearcut in North Carolina, pelleted, then shipped to power plants in England to be burned, then oil can be drilled in Alaska in places other than the areas that are already being exploited for oil reserves. No hew and cry from that outrageous practice, so where is the righteous indignation? There ain’t any.

    That makes development of the ANWR fair game, anywhere there is up there in the whole of Alaska for that matter. ConocoPhilips has a nice office building in Anchorage. Oil from Alaska will be supplied to the market.

    Come on, have a heart, save the whales one more time. #savethewhales

    Of course, green energy from wind turbines slaughter raptors, but what does that matter? It doesn’t, nothing is sacred.

    Humans don’t know when to stop until it’s too late. Crude oil helps it happen even more.

    Can’t argue with success.

    Give Alaska back to Russia, they’re good at finding oil and not feeling bad about doing it, doesn’t bother their conscience one bit.

    We gotta stop all of this oil development in places that should be protected, are sacred.

    The Russians will tell you to go to hell.

    Not one thing on this planet is sacred when humans are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, especially in France today. The French are just making more of a mess, not much more. The yellow vests are making matters worse, got to do something or something.

    Yellow vest lives don’t matter.

    Move along, you’re in the way of getting things done.

  15. DerHundistLos on Mon, 24th Dec 2018 8:32 am 

    “Native Americans ran herds of buffalo over cliffs. The way to hunt buffalo if you want to make it through the winter.
    Shooting them all day long with Sharps 50 caliber rifles is the stupid white man way to hunt those worthless buffalo. lol”

    There’s a difference between hunting in numbers that are sustainable, and the policy of the US government to kill the species into extinction in order to eliminate the Plains Indians’ food source. The US government should have succeeded except the hunters missed a last remaining small herd in Yellowstone Park.

    In the long run, you may get your wish as it’s doubtful the small herd in Yellowstone will provide sufficient genetic variability to sustain the species.

    We’re finally learning bison play a keystone role in grassland ecosystem health by increasing native plant and wildlife diversity; bison play a critical role in the soils of their former range by enhancing the nutrient cycling process.

  16. Sissyfuss on Mon, 24th Dec 2018 8:44 am 

    Nailed it, Derhund. Keep educating the deplorables but don’t expect much of a return.

  17. Duncan Idaho on Mon, 24th Dec 2018 8:47 am 

    The Sanskrit root word
    for “war” means literally
    “desire for more cows.”

    — from The Clay Hill Anthology
    by Hayden Carruth

  18. deadly on Mon, 24th Dec 2018 10:13 am 

    I drive by a herd of bison once each week, sometimes as many as three times. The herd is confined to pastures and number about 300.

    There is enough gene pool

    The number of humans that were left after one of the ice ages was believed to number as low as 2000 men and 2000 women.

    The number that didn’t die off were maybe as many as 20,000. Maybe a new nasty die-off is overdue, I dunno.

    Sure did happen for the North American indigenous tribes after the Dutch arrived. lol

    Columbus was a saint compared to the Dutch.

    Some of those Dutch weren’t exactly nice to the Native Americans that lived there first.

    That’s the way it goes moving west.

    If humans can experience a die-off and come back, well then, the bison can do the same and the numbers can return to millions. When you reach a new plateau, the number of births begin to increase exponentially.

    The wooly mammoth was still in existence during the building of the Great Pyramids.

    It is believed they became extinct as little 4000 years ago.

    The bison are lucky humans had enough brains not to kill them all.

  19. Go Speed Racer on Mon, 24th Dec 2018 10:20 am 

    Clogster it’s Christmas Eve. U don’t
    usually smoke pot but what brand did
    U celebrate with? Kona kabam?
    Santa Surprise?

    60 ships will clean up the ocean?
    Inhale again, real deep !

    Plastic production is going to stop?
    No kidding, call your broker and sell
    all the DuPont shares. Oh damn
    Clogster inhaled so deep he passed out.

    But Merry Christmas Clogster, I gonna buy
    you a carton of 1000 plastic drinking straws.
    U can toss em into the ocean and don’t
    worry those 60 ships will automatically
    pick up every last one of them.

  20. deadly on Mon, 24th Dec 2018 3:24 pm 

    I drive by that herd, and shoot one everyday from the window of my SUV. It is hard to drive, smoke a cigarette, drink my coffee, follow the latest buzz on my Iphone, and shoot a bison when you are doing 80mph, but it is not as hard it sounds because they are so big and slow and stupid.
    This makes them pretty easy to hit actually. Practice makes perfect and I can usually hit one most days.
    I just let the bison I shot rot. I am paying tribute to the native Americans that almost drove the bison to extinction. Thank goodness we showed up in the nick of time to stop the native genocide of those big dumb wolly mini-mammoths. If we hadn’t stopped the indians, I would have to shoot at rabbits or gophers instead and those are a lot harder to hit from the window of my pickup.
    I am just doing it American way, and I only shoot one most days.
    And if those bison do happen to go extinct, we can always get the scientists to clone new ones for us.

  21. deadly on Mon, 24th Dec 2018 5:05 pm 

    Besides that, I also shoot as many moose and caribou as humanly possible. I roam the hinterlands and wilderness, the hunt is non-stop.

    It’s fun.

    Every single species needs to die, every phylum is going to be extinct.

    The only good earth is a dead earth.

  22. deadly on Mon, 24th Dec 2018 5:48 pm 


    I have been waiting for a chance to use ‘phylum’, all year long. Do you know hard it is to wedge ‘phylum’, into a sentence, post, or conversation? Its almost as hard as nailing a bison with my handgun while doing 80.

    And with only 7 days to go.

    I think I am going for a drive. See you all later!

  23. deadly on Mon, 24th Dec 2018 5:53 pm 

    And then after that, whatever that is, I am going to the Rockies to shoot as many bald eagles as I can.

    You can get a couple of grand each for a dead bald eagle.

    If I hang around wind farms long enough, I won’t have to shoot at all, just get there first. Wind farms are prime hunting grounds, don’t have to fire a single shot, just wait for the wing tips to pick them off.

    The fun never ends.

  24. gwb on Tue, 25th Dec 2018 10:02 am 

    The Trump administration’s Alaska oil lease sale last year was a total flop:

    With oil prices collapsing, I doubt there will be much interest in drilling.

  25. Dooma on Wed, 26th Dec 2018 4:52 am 

    “My administration and Alaskans overwhelmingly support Arctic National Wildlife Refuge development, and we are eager to inform and educate our fellow Americans that it will be done utilizing the highest environmental standards and safeguards to protect its land, waters and wildlife.”

    If that were the case, then you would not touch the protected area at all.

    Reminds me of my government who want to place a coal terminal on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Man, the most invasive pest by a very long shot. Loved your comments Deadly

  26. Permavillage on Wed, 26th Dec 2018 7:19 pm 

    what we need is a collapse, and quickly!

  27. Cloggie on Wed, 26th Dec 2018 8:37 pm 

    “Columbus was a saint compared to the Dutch.
    Some of those Dutch weren’t exactly nice to the Native Americans that lived there first.”

    Highly unfair to the Dutch, we gave them 60 hard Dutch guilders for Manhattan!

  28. I AM THE MOB on Wed, 26th Dec 2018 8:57 pm 

    The real problem is Peak Oil. No recovery is possible in a declining energy environment. The most likely outcome is industrial civilization collapse as angry mobs leave governments powerless to react. There are symptoms everywhere. Extremism and populism on the rise everywhere. World leaders focusing on the wrong problem (CO2 production) when we are reaching Peak Oil. It is not going to be pretty.

  29. I AM THE MOB on Wed, 26th Dec 2018 9:01 pm 

    UN Special Rapporteur: Donald Trump ‘worst perpetrator’ of fake news

  30. Cloggie on Wed, 26th Dec 2018 9:25 pm 

    “The real problem is Peak Oil. No recovery is possible in a declining energy environment. The most likely outcome is industrial civilization collapse as angry mobs leave governments powerless to react.”

    You are a defeatist.

    What are you now?


  31. Cloggie on Wed, 26th Dec 2018 9:39 pm 

    Again the picture of New Amsterdam:

    Note the great wall in the North, that for some reason coincided with the Walstraat, or Wallstreet as it is known now.

    And let’s be honoust about its purpose, it was not to keep the English, Jews, Mexicans or Africans out, but the Indians.

    And who owns New York these days? Certainly not the Indians!

    See, Trump is right, walls do work!

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