House votes to prohibit drilling in the Arctic refuge

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The house on Thursday voted 225-193 reinstatement of a decades-long ban on oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in a stymie President of the Trump plan is to move to open up the desert to commercial interests.

The Democrats controlled the lower house of Congress is largely symbolic, since the Senate still in the hands of the Republicans, is unlikely to take action on the bill, and even if it did, Trump has promised to veto any legislation that would prevent oil and gas in the ANWR to drilling.

The bore was approved in 2017, authorizes a tax cut from the Republican-controlled Congress, an action, the Parliament’s vote, is trying to undo.

The bill, the Democratic sponsor, Rep. Jared Huffman from California, said there were “some places, too wild, too important to be spoiled, especially of oil and gas development.”


But Republicans, including all three members of the Alaska congressional delegation, said drilling can be done safely with modern techniques, and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and creating jobs for Alaskans would.

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, said Huffman “is certainly a great interest in how we operate Alaskans. I would suggest that he pays more attention to the problems in his own backyard and let me have mine”.

A herd of musk ox graze in an area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, in this undated file photo.

The boy called the democratic bill “a sham” and said, “in Spite of the Democrats ‘” ongoing efforts, this is not a wilderness. Let me say this again: the [area set aside for drilling] is referred to for the development.”

While it is generally opposed by many Democrats and environmental groups, in the ANWR to drilling broad support of Alaskans enjoy the state’s Native American population, the benefit from oil and gas production on the land under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

In the heart of the battle over ANWR – 19.6 million-acre piece of land, flanked by the Brooks Range to the South, the Beaufort sea in the North and Canada’s Yukon province in the East, is an area of the refuge called the coastal plain, or section 1002.


On one side of the debate: Alaska Republican lawmakers, his native language groups and the fossil fuel industry is that the estimated 7.7 billion barrels of oil, has suffered under the coastal plain is a blessing for the state’s flagging economy, that of low oil prices on the world market and a decline in crude oil flowing through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

On the other side: environmental groups and the indigenous Gwich’in people consider the coastal plain to the Holy land and say that oil drilling would ruin the fragile habitat for gray wolves, polar bears, porcupine caribou, and more than 200 species of migratory birds.

“ANWR is a national treasure and a stunning piece of land,” Nicole Whittington-Evans, the Wilderness Society’s Alaska regional director, said Fox News. “It is not a place where oil and gas development should be allowed.”

ANWR facts

    – Became a refuge in 1980 under the Carter Administration

    – 19.6 million acres of Alaska includes along the North-Eastern border with Canada

    – The home of polar bears, porcupine caribou, gray wolves and over 200 species of migratory birds

    – There are an estimated 11.8 billion barrels of oil under ANWR, the coastal plain

The refuge was signed in 1980, as part of a comprehensive public countries the legislation into law by President Jimmy Carter, more than 100 million Federal acres in Alaska under nature conservation protection. Lawmakers at the time recognized the potential for oil drilling on the coastal plain, but prohibited leasing or other development on the land, unless approved by a future Congress.

In 1995, the Alaskan delegation, a provision opening ANWR for the development of a budget reconciliation bill, but the bill was vetoed by President Bill Clinton, is inserted. In 2005, in spite of the Senate, House and White House all in Republican hands, push to open ANWR was not successful, because a number of moderate Republicans voted against it.

Huffman and other supporters of the house bill, please note that the refuge is home to more than 200 different animal species, including bird species, Migration to States and districts across the country.

“You must not have visited, to be the refuge, influenced and impressed by its ecological beauty,” Williams said.


The vote on Alaska drilling comes after the house approved two bills on Wednesday that would permanently bar drilling from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and extend a moratorium on drilling off the Florida West coast.

Coastal legislators from both parties, said the bills would protect U.S. coasts from bores, the water can strain crucial and lead to disasters such as the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

A polar bear sow and two cubs seen on the Beaufort Sea coast within the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Opponents, mostly Republicans, said the bills provide for the domestic security of supply and limiting thousands of jobs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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