The Arctic Refuge, located in the northeast corner of Alaska is a breathtaking national treasure, and like Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, is worthy of protection for future generations. It’s a place vital to the subsistence way of life for many indigenous people, who rely on the lands and wildlife of the Refuge for survival.
As an Evergreen student who cares deeply about environmental issues, I am concerned that the refuge is under threat from fossil fuel development and climate change. Oil developers are eyeing the coastal plain for drilling, even as the burning of fossil fuels warms the Arctic at twice the rate of the rest of the world.
I urge President Obama to protect the coastal plain of the refuge from drilling and other threats, so that future generations (including my own) can live in a world where the ineffable beauty of the Arctic remains undisturbed by corporate interests. And because continuing our current reliance upon fossil fuels would spell disaster for wild places such as the refuge, I support a nationwide transition to 100 percent renewable energy.