Senator has led congressional opposition to exploitation of Arctic Refuge for years
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released a statement criticizing the Trump administration’s rush to approve leases to drill in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge before President-elect Biden is sworn into office:
“President Trump’s last-ditch effort to shortcut environmental laws and jam through Arctic Refuge drilling on his way out the door will not stand up to court scrutiny. Efforts to short-circuit the review process and ignore the law will fail, just as they did for the controversial Bristol Bay mining project. This administration should be focusing on how to ensure a smooth transition rather than trying to expedite legally-deficient projects that will degrade our nation’s public lands. America is an Arctic nation with an emerging northwest passage, making this region an important opportunity for outdoor travel and tourism.”
Throughout her time in the Senate, Cantwell has been the leading congressional champion of the Arctic Refuge and repeatedly fought back against efforts to drill in the pristine wilderness. Last September, Cantwell introduced legislation to permanently protect the refuge from oil and gas drilling. She has repeatedly voiced support for protecting the refuge and has cosponsored multiple bills to designate its coastal plain as a wilderness area. In December of 2005, Cantwell led a historic filibuster that reversed a backdoor maneuver in the Senate to allow drilling in the refuge.