Washington, D.C. — Today, President Donald Trump’s Interior Department signed a formal record of decision approving a massive auction of oil and gas drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The decision released today approves the most environmentally destructive alternative possible and would make the entire coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge available for leasing to oil companies. The Trump administration’s own environmental analysis shows that this decision will result in devastating impacts to America’s polar bears, a worsening of climate change, harm to Alaska Native communities, damage to caribou and migratory bird populations, a worsening of air pollution, and a high likelihood of oil spills. In response to the decision, Matt Lee-Ashley, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
Rushing ahead with a massive and environmentally catastrophic oil and gas sale during an oil glut and pandemic is foolish and reckless. The environmental analysis underpinning this decision is so laughably indefensible that either the courts or a future presidential administration will have no trouble tossing it in the dustbin of history. The Trump administration’s attempt to sell off the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil will not stand.
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