Re: Support the Cantwell Arctic Refuge Amendment to the Republican Leadership’s Tax Plan

United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Re: Support the Cantwell Arctic Refuge Amendment to the Republican Leadership’s Tax Plan

Dear Senator:

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) works to turn environmental values into national priorities. Each year, LCV publishes the National Environmental Scorecard, which details the voting records of members of Congress on environmental legislation. The Scorecard is distributed to LCV members, concerned voters nationwide, and the media.

LCV urges you to vote YES on the Cantwell Arctic Refuge Amendment to the Republican leadership’s tax plan. This amendment strikes the tax bill’s provision that would turn the pristine and sacred Arctic National Wildlife Refuge into an industrial oil field.

The underlying provision in the tax bill would do irreparable damage to one of America’s most magnificent and wildest landscapes that is home to polar and brown bears, muskoxen, and birds that migrate from all 50 states and six continents. The indigenous Gwich’in people call the Arctic Refuge’s coastal plain “the Sacred Place Where Life Begins,” reflecting the importance to them of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, which calves in the area and which they rely on for subsistence food and their spiritual needs.

This provision is being included in an attempt to generate $1 billion in revenue to somehow justify the more than $1.5 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthy, but multiple analyses show that it is unlikely to raise anywhere close to even that minuscule percent of the tax cuts. What’s more, the legislation would sell oil intended for emergencies from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to justify drilling in one of our wildest places. In short, handing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the oil and gas industries in this tax package is fiscally and environmentally irresponsible.

We urge you to SUPPORT the Cantwell Arctic Refuge Amendment to the Republican leadership’s tax plan. We will strongly consider including a vote on this amendment in the 2017 Scorecard. This amendment does not change LCV’s strong opposition to the tax bill. If you need more information, please call my office at (202) 785-8683 and ask to speak with a member of our government relations team.

Sincerely,

Gene Karpinski
President

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