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Birds, Wildlife and Gardening

House Passes Build Back Better : Includes Repeal Of Oil & Gas Program In Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Group of brown trout | Ryan Hagerty / USFWS

The House today passed their historic Build Back Better bill, which includes billions of dollars to fund climate change solutions, including additional conservation on the ground, the creation of a Climate Conservation Corps, and, most importantly for the National Wildlife Refuge System, the repeal of the oil and gas leasing program in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Climate change is altering our protected public lands at a rapid pace. Sea levels are rising and overtaking coastal wildlife refuges. Historic ranges for animal and fish species are shifting north. Invasive species are pushing out native species on more refuge units than ever before. Permafrost and tundra in the arctic are melting. Innovative approaches to slow climate change, such as those found in the Build Back Better legislation, are critical for the survival of wildlife species into the future, and to protect the habitat that has been conserved within the National Wildlife Refuge System for 118 years

Coastal erosion in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, AK | USFWS

The oil and gas program that was created for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the 2017 Tax Act belies every truth we know regarding climate change and wildlife conservation. The repeal of this leasing program, which raised a pittance of money ($12 million in leases sold versus $2 billion promised), will protect the largest, most biologically rich, and most vulnerable protected area of our country. 

The National Wildlife Refuge Association strongly urges the Senate to take up Build Back Better and pass longlasting conservation measures that will protect both the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain in perpetuity and fund climate mitigation projects for our future.

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