Published April 30, 2019
WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, May 1, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources will vote on H.R. 1146, known as the “Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act.”
Earlier this year, Reps. Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the bipartisan Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas drilling. The bill repeals Section 20001 in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that mandates oil and gas leasing for the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge. The bill has widespread support across the House, with more than 130 cosponsors.
What: House Committee on Natural Resources bill mark-up, including the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act
Where: Room 1324 Longworth House Office Building. A live-stream of the mark-up will be available via the House Natural Resources Committee website.
When: Wednesday, May 1, beginning at 10:00 a.m. EST
The Arctic Refuge has long sustained the Gwich’in people, who refer to the coastal plain as “The Sacred Place Where Life Begins” because of its role as the primary calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd. One of the largest intact ecosystems in the world, the Arctic Refuge is a place of breathtaking natural beauty and untouched, rugged wilderness. Its remarkable glaciated peaks, northern forests and fragile tundra provide vital habitat for denning polar bears, migrating caribou, wolves, muskoxen and nesting area for more than 200 migratory and resident bird species.
Oil industry allies in Congress used tax reconciliation legislation — the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 — to circumvent normal legislative channels because passing an Arctic Refuge drilling bill on its own would have been impossible. Drilling for oil in the Arctic Refuge remains deeply unpopular — 70% of people in this country oppose it. The Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act restores protections for the Arctic Refuge that have been in place for decades.