I’m deeply disturbed by proposals for the fiscal 2018 budget, which include opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. This zeal to drill overlooks the tremendous cultural and natural value of the refuge, the dismal track record of the oil industry and the broad public support for safeguarding this place.

The budget is a reminder, too, that much like public lands in Maine, the Arctic Refuge is facing the greatest threats in decades. This is yet another attempt to hand over our valuable public lands to corporate polluters.

It’s obvious that President Trump and congressional leadership care more about filling the pockets of the oil industry than the interests of Alaska Native communities, including the Gwich’in Nation, who depend on the refuge for survival, or of the public at large, who want to see the refuge continue to exist unspoiled.

I urge Sen. Susan Collins to just say “no” to drilling in the refuge. The people of Maine are looking to her to protect the Arctic Refuge and all the places closer to home it represents.

Morgan McDonnell


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