Washington, D.C. April 19, 2018 – Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that it will begin the regulatory process to lease land to oil and gas drillers on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In response, Matt Lee-Ashley, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:

The Trump administration’s headlong rush to drill America’s last great wilderness is reckless and wrong. By putting the fate of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the hands of former oil industry lobbyist David Bernhardt, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has made clear that this rushed environmental review process will be nothing more than a kangaroo court. The administration’s shortcuts to sell out the Arctic Refuge are legally risky and are sure to add another stain to Zinke’s shameful anti-conservation record.

A CAP analysis finds that offering oil and gas leases in the Arctic Refuge is likely to yield no more than $37.5 million in revenue for the U.S. Treasury over the next 10 years—far short of the $1 billion to $1.8 billion that drilling proponents claim could be raised.

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