Last night, the Senate voted to approve its tax reform bill containing a highly controversial provision opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas drilling.
A majority of American voters want the Refuge to remain protected. Scientists say drilling will destroy this vital habitat for wolves, polar bears, and caribou.
Less than a month ago 37 leading Arctic wildlife scientists sent a letter opposing drilling on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Decades of biological study and scientific research within the Arctic Refuge have confirmed that the coastal plain specifically is vital to the biological diversity of the entire refuge. Within the narrow (15-40 miles) coastal plain, there is a unique compression of habitats which concentrates a wide array of wildlife native to the Arctic, including polar bears, grizzly bears, and WOLVES.
In fact, according to the USFWS, the Arctic Refuge coastal plain contains the greatest wildlife diversity of any protected area above the Arctic Circle.