A US Senate committee has voted 13-10 in favor of approving legislation to begin steps to commence drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
In a move that basically confirms we are living in some sort of evil-dominated timeline, the Senate energy committee approved the opening of a 1.5-million-acre region across the northeast coast of Alaska. Blofeld would be proud.
The region is known as the 1002 area, and it’s thought it could generate revenue in the tens of billions of dollars from oil drilling. It will also secure jobs and oil for Trans Alaska Pipeline System, which was seeing a decline in production.
"If we move forward with development, we will do it right,” Senator Lisa Murkowski (Republican, Alaska) said during a hearing of the Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, reported The Hill, while presumably also planning to steal candy from a baby. “We will take care of our wildlife, our lands and our people.”
This measure will be placed in the Senate tax reform bill – itself a cause of huge controversy – and if that passes, then drilling will essentially be allowed. Sales would be held for land in the ANWR within the next decade, raising an estimated $1 billion for the government over 10 years.
The move is controversial for a whole host of reasons. For starters, it puts the lives of animals and other wildlife at risk, including caribou and polar bears. It also risks the lives of local people, and will essentially turn this region referred to as a “paradise” into an oil field.
Prior to the vote last week, conservationist and primatologist Jane Goodall called for the region to be protected in a letter she sent to every US Senator, urging them to oppose the move.
“It seems that each day brings ever more dire news about what we humans are doing to harm our planet, the animals that share it with us and, by doing so, harming ourselves also,” she wrote.
“Please take this opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to the natural world and to future generations and stand with me to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”
In an age where animal poaching is seemingly encouraged by the current President, oil drilling is back on the menu, and those less fortunate are being regularly squeezed, things certainly aren't great at the moment. At least no lawmaker is proud to be acting like a supervillain just yet. Oh, wait...