Many thanks to U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins who recently stood up for our nation's wildlife and wild places by voting against a fiscally irresponsible plan to fund the Transportation Bill with highly speculative revenue from opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's coastal plain and some of our most sensitive coastal waters to oil and gas drilling.
Sadly, the plan that will open the refuge and our coasts to exploitation by the oil companies still managed to pass the House of Representatives even though any revenue that might come from production in the Arctic would not be seen for at least 10 years.
If this bill is not stopped, all 1.5 million acres of the biologically rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's coastal plain, and almost every acre of our coasts including along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, protected areas of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and Alaska's Bristol Bay will be open for drilling.
Representative Higgins must continue to stand against this fiscally and environmentally irresponsible bill and vote against final passage of the transportation package. I also urge Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to join our courageous representative in his opposition.