Trump Administration Claims In Arctic Drilling Assessment That There Is No Climate Crisis

Photo: Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times

E&E News reported on Monday that the Trump administration states it its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in favor of oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) – the agency responsible for EIS – “does not agree that the proposed development is inconsistent with maintaining a livable planet (i.e., there is not a climate crisis).”

  •  According to The Hill, the BLM is in the final few days of a 30-day waiting period before it can go ahead with leases for oil and gas drilling on 1.56 million acres of Alaska’s coastal plains that, as we previously reported, the administration is rushing to put up for auction by the end of 2019.

Why This Matters:  This is yet another sign that the Trump Administration is ignoring the overwhelming opinion of expert scientists — the U.N. IPCC Oceans and Cryosphere report from last week is full of examples of how the Arctic region is being severely impacted by climate change caused by fossil fuel use.

  • It is also highly likely that the BLM silenced its own scientists in the process of drafting the ANWR EIS.

These climate-denying conclusions in the EIS further undermine the credibility of the government and make a mockery of the process of determining the environmental impacts of oil and gas leasing in one of the last remaining pristine areas on the planet, not to mention its impacts on the heritage and way of life of native Alaskan communities that live in ANWR.

What BLM Said In the EIS

“The planet was much warmer within the past 1,000 years, prior to the Little Ice Age, based on extensive archaeological evidence (such as farming in Greenland and vineyards in England). This warmth did not make the planet unlivable; rather, it was a time when societies prospered.”

Scientists Object

The Hill reported that Brenda Ekwurzel, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said that “[t]he Bureau of Land Management’s statement is simply false and shockingly out-of-step with what mainstream science tells us….This is nothing more than a coordinated disinformation effort by the administration to deny the science, roll back climate policies, and actually drive up carbon emissions at a time when urgent cuts are needed.”

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