While the GOP was hammering away at opposing politicians to get the tax bill passed in time for the New Year, they managed to slip in a toxic piece of legislation that opens up America’s gorgeous landscape to oil prospectors. Although this violates the country’s valuation of its land and natural resources, the GOP is eager to auction off parts of Alaska to fund their megalomaniacal desire to drive big business to new heights.
Now that Trump has signed the disastrous bill, Alaska’s iconic Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is available for sale to the highest bidder. Alaska politicians stand to benefit a lot from the sale of the land as do some of America’s biggest corporations. Who does it hurt? The people and the area itself. This is a bad day in American history.
Alaskans, at least those who value the land, fondly call the spectacular place, the Refuge. Although the people love it, and tourists flock there every year, for decades money-grubbing Alaskan politicians have had their sights set on it. Ever since federal protection came to the land in 1960, capitalist interests have desired it for themselves. But Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower has sense enough to protect the land in order to preserve its “unique wildlife, wilderness, and recreational values.”
Eisenhower, unlike the president today, read. He devoured decades of research and listened to the respected American conservationists who saw the value in the land. The people he took time out of his busy schedule to consult included Bob Marshall, Olaus Murie, Mardy Murie, and Justice William O. Douglas. These people, along with former Republican President Eisenhower, did everything in their power to ensure that Americans of the future would have the privilege to enjoy the beautiful and unique lands of Alaska.
Twenty years after it was first protected, Congress affirmed the Refuge’s national significance in 1980. This act proved to the people of the country that the government cared about our natural resources and the land on which we live. At that time, Congress enlarged the refuge and designated it as federal wilderness.
Besides being a bastion of bipartisan camaraderie, it is also a special place for the animals that live there. For example, it is where a massive herd of Porcupine caribou give birth to their calves. After traveling 400 miles, they raise their calves at the area’s costal plain. This is the exact location where the GOP hopes to drill for oil.
The Refuge is also Alaska’s highest density of denning polar bears. Not only does Trump’s tax bill threaten to destroy the beautiful land of Alaska, but it will also further threaten the existence of polar bears in our country’s most northern state.
Concerned citizens should continue to inform themselves about the atrocities the GOP and their puppet Trump is inflicting on the world. Because of their greed, climate change will continue. And life as we know it will cease to exist in a matter of decades. Instead of making progress, they are promoting recession – all because they want more for themselves.