Letter: Don't allow drilling on public lands in the Arctic

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Once again, Congress has opened debate about drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. This would be a direct giveaway of invaluable public lands to oil companies.

Drilling in the Wildlife Refuge would be harmful to the local animal populations, and would disrupt one of the few remaining expanses of untouched, natural lands so dear to Americans. It would completely undermine the lifestyle of the native peoples. We should continue to work to preserve our national treasures.

Opening more lands for drilling represents a step in the wrong direction; America urgently needs to double down on efforts to develop alternative, carbon-free fuels. Instead, oil companies are developing ever more destructive methods to extract increasingly inaccessible fuels. Handing over these public lands to for-profit oil companies would be an affront to American values and would forever destroy a precious natural resource – all in the name of short-term private profit.

Although the measure to prevent drilling in the Arctic did not pass, U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King voted against drilling in the Arctic. Thank you, senators, for voting to preserve our national treasures. Mainers know we can count on our senators to conserve our outdoor heritage.

Will Parker
Environment Maine