Bend, OR, September 10, 2019 – This week, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act (H.R. 1146), the first stand-alone bill to protect the Arctic Refuge to ever receive floor time in the House. Fifty-nine outdoor-inspired businesses joined The Conservation Alliance and Protect Our Winters (POW) in an open letter to the House of Representatives, urging all members to vote in favor of the bill. With 182 co-sponsors, Representative Huffman’s (CA-2-D) bipartisan bill seeks to restore longstanding protections for the Arctic Refuge and halt the President’s attempts to open the Arctic Refuge’s Coastal Plain to oil and gas exploitation.

First set aside as the Arctic National Wildlife Range in 1960, Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower protected the Arctic ecosystem north and south of the iconic Brooks Range, including the Coastal Plain. In 1980, Congress expanded President Eisenhower’s Arctic Range and formally established the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and with it legally closed the Coastal Plain to oil development.

In December 2017, President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed, and with it a provision opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s Coastal Plain to oil and gas extraction. Since the tax reform bill passed, the Trump Administration has been working aggressively to expedite leasing the Coastal Plain to oil developers, and The Conservation Alliance has been supporting efforts to both legislatively restore protections for the Refuge, and hold the Trump Administration accountable during its hurried process to exploit the Refuge.