Published December 21, 2017
WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Tom Udall released the following statement after passage of the Republican tax plan which included a backdoor measure to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling:
Vice Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Tom Udall – D – New Mexico
“The Republican tax bill will be remembered in history as a terrible deal for the middle class, but it also is one of the greatest attacks on our public lands. A provision buried deep in the Republicans’ tax bill allows the government to sell off one of the world’s last truly wild, most pristine landscapes to the highest bidder in order to pay for massive tax cuts for their millionaire donors and big corporations.
They voted to open the Arctic Refuge to drilling despite the harm drilling will do to its ecosystem and the way of life of those who call it home, despite pleas from the American people to protect it, despite opposition from the Gwich’in people who live there, and despite a complete lack of evidence that drilling in the area will result in the windfall revenue Republicans have promised to produce. Since the day my Uncle Mo championed the protection of this precious land almost 40 years ago, we have been fending off these attacks and winning the fight to protect the Arctic Refuge for future generations.
And this fight is still not over. There will be challenges in court. I will continue to educate the owners of this land—the American people—about the precious resource we are giving away. And I will hold the administration’s feet to the fire by making sure it is genuinely assessing the environmental impacts of development in this sacred region