Grijalva to Hold a Forum on the Dangers of Opening Alaska’s Arctic Refuge to Oil and Gas Drilling

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) is holding a Democratic forum tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. ET in Washington, D.C. to give tribal members and public land defenders a platform to discuss the importance of protecting Alaska’s pristine wilderness in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Last year, Republicans inserted a provision in their Tax Scam bill that mandates oil and gas leasing in the iconic Arctic Refuge. This damaging provision mandates two lease sales within 10 years, each at least 400,000 acres in size, on the Refuge’s fragile coastal plain. The bill also declared oil and gas development as a purpose of the Arctic Refuge, which has never before been the case, undercutting the integrity of the Arctic Refuge and setting a dangerous precedent for America’s entire National Wildlife Refuge system.

Recent public opinion research showed that 67 percent of Americans oppose drilling in the Arctic Refuge, with a majority (52 percent) “strongly opposed.” Similar levels of opposition were found in polling done by Yale Climate Connections in late 2017.

To fight back against big corporate polluters and keep them out of this iconic landscape, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) is introducing the “Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act” on Tuesday ahead of the forum. The bill would repeal the tax bill’s Arctic Refuge drilling provision and stop the devastating drilling program currently being rushed by the Trump administration. Reps. Grijalva, Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) and Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) are signed on as original bill cosponsors.


What: Democratic Forum on the Dangers of Opening the Arctic Refuge to Oil and Gas Drilling

When: Tuesday, May 22 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

Where: Cannon House Office Building in room 234 or tune in for the livestream via Facebook Live

Members of Congress:

  • Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee
  • Congressman Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Vice Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee and Ranking Member of the Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee


  • Donetta Tritt, Gwich’in, Arctic Village
  • Rebecca Goodstein, District Environmental Coordinator, East Coast – Patagonia
  • David Hayes, Executive Director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at New York University School of Law, Former Deputy Secretary of Interior
  • Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, Former Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Press Contact

Diane Padilla

(202) 225-6065 or (202) 306-1333