Let the Trump administration know Arctic Refuge is no place for oil and gas drilling

This post is a guest commentary from National Wildlife Refuge Association president Geoff Haskett and is written in response to an OP-ED originally published June 1, 2018 in the Seattle Times.  You can read the full OP-ED here.

I had the great honor of working for Sally Jewell when she was Secretary of the Interior and I was the Alaska Regional Director for the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

As President now of the National Wildlife Refuge Association I very much appreciate that she is still out there advocating for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We are sharing her recent Opinion Editorial published on June 1, 2018. Sally Jewell was a former petroleum engineer, a business woman and Secretary of the Interior and she says unequivocally that “there are no justifiable reasons that we must drill for oil in America’s last truly wild place, the Arctic Refuge.” We at the National Wildlife Refuge Association couldn’t agree more!

Please take the time to read her article. Thank you Sally Jewell!


Permanent link to this article: https://www.refugeassociation.org/2018/06/let-the-trump-administration-know-arctic-refuge-is-no-place-for-oil-and-gas-drilling/


  1. Clinton Nagel says:

    I have written for protections on behalf of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and signed petitions against dismantling those protections for several years now. The American people have spoken over and over again to protect these wildlands of Alaska. I remember being in the fight to protect these lands as far back as the original concept started to materialize in the 1970s. To see this constant undermining of the people’s will is frustrating and disappointing and makes me angry.

    There are so many reasons to protect these lands from unscrupulous oil and gas exploration that for me to do so again is at nauseum. Is the agency going to listen anyway?

    Climate Change:
    We don’t need to destroy our climate and our environment over more oil and gas. Already the earth’s climate has warmed most likely beyond our ability to control or reverse the trend. Air temperatures on the Arctic Refuge have already increased by several degrees and are projected to warm 6° F by 2040, shrinking habitat and food sources. I could include more links and information out there. But I will provide only one and this says it all.


    Wilderness is essential to maintain wildlife and fisheries populations as it is after all their habitat. In the Arctic Refuge and the adjacent Arctic Ocean alone, there are 700 kinds of plants, 200 species of birds, 47 mammal species and 42 fish species. There is no other protected area in the entire circumpolar north that has such abundant and diverse wildlife.

    With the help of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and two adjacent Canadian National Parks, the Arctic Refuge ecosystem is the largest and wildest protected landscape in North America. This ecosystem cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world. There is a value in that.

    There is not a need for Arctic Refuge oil:
    According to the National Wildlife Refuge Association, “There’s been a declining interest in Arctic Refuge oil exploration in the last decade as fracking technology enabled oil companies to reach previously inaccessible reserves.” I’ve read and heard similar facts for years. We are at an all-time high of oil and gas reserves. If we were to make the scientific and wise choices of reducing our dependence on oil and gas, which we can do and we were headed in that direction before the current administration, there would be no need for this action in the Arctic.

    American citizens have a say in Alaska:
    This land belongs to all the people of the United States, not just Alaskans. It does not belong to any corporate entity and BLM has to manage this land accordingly. Again, the American people have already decided to protect these lands ever since the decision was made in the 1970s. I see this attempt to undermine the American people’s will.

    I’ve said all of that to say this; the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is no place to allow oil and gas drilling or exploration. The refuge was set aside for the protection of the wildlife for the enjoyment of the American people. I urge you to uphold the will of the American people.

    Thank you.

    1. geoffrey haskett says:

      Thank you Clinton Nagel! Very well said. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge does belong to all Americans and not just Alaskans and needs to be protected. We appreciate your comments and insights very much.

      Geoffrey Haskett

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>