Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Investors Just Say No to Drilling ANWR

Investors controlling $2.5 trillion in assets under management signed a letter opposing any effort to exploit the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas.  They join indigenous groups and conservationists in opposition to the Trump government's plan to develop reserves thought to underlie the Arctic Refuge.  The investors spanned diverse groups including religious endowments, health care companies and asset management companies.  They joined the indigenous Gwich'in people who rely on hunting caribou for subsistence.

Repugnants in Congress, without Democratic support, passed a bill allowing exploration in December 2017. Trump boasted to the press about he was able to accomplish something Regan and both Bush administrations did not.  Under the bill the Interior Department will hold two auctions for leases within the next ten years.  The sale is limited to 2,000 acres of pristine wilderness, home to myriad arctic creatures including polar bear, musk ox, caribou and various waterfowl.  The Porcupine herd is the largest caribou herd on Earth and their annual migration to the calving grounds rivals the Serengeti wildebeest spectacle.  The 1002 area in which exploration would take place is in the middle of the caribou calving grounds on the coastal plain. [dark pink on map] Human industrial activity there will almost certainly lead to a decline in caribou births, putting the herd's survival at risk.  Proponents of drilling like the Alaska congressional delegation say 10.4 billion barrels of oil are contained in the reserve.  Environmentalists have been fighting exploitation of the refuge since the 70's.  More than 70% of Americans oppose drilling in ANWR.