Media Resources

Interior moves recklessly fast toward Arctic Refuge drilling

The U.S. Department of the Interior today took its first official step toward holding an oil and gas lease sale on the sensitive coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The U.S. Department of the Interior today issued a notice of intent to begin scoping for an environmental impact statement on the proposed sale. 

In response, The Wilderness Society issued the following statement from its president, Jamie Williams:

“The Department of the Interior is pursuing an irresponsibly aggressive timeline for Arctic Refuge drilling that reflects the Trump administration’s eagerness to turn over America’s public lands to private industry for development. They are taking reckless shortcuts that are a terrible violation of public trust.

“By pushing for a lease sale next year,  the administration is admitting that they have no intention of seriously evaluating the negative impacts of oil development on wildlife and these wild lands, which science tells us are significant. The Wilderness Society remains opposed to opening the Arctic Refuge coastal plain to drilling. Local communities and the public’s concerns should be fairly considered and addressed. Americans should be outraged at what is being done to the crown jewel of their National Wildlife Refuge System.” 


The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than one million members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.