I write to urge Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to defend against oil exploration and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a region that is home to over 200 species of birds, 37 species of land mammals, 25 species of fish and eight marine mammals along its coast.

It is home to the Gwich’in and Inupiaq people, people who have lived here for centuries and who depend on this wild, unspoiled place for their survival. Drilling for oil in this region would provide a very limited benefit (virtually none of which will be seen by Mainers) with all the risks attendant to oil drilling. Then consider the downstream effects of pulling yet more hydrocarbons from below the Earth’s surface and spewing them into the atmosphere as global warming pollutants.

I ask the senators to use their influence, our dollars and their votes to create a less dangerous and renewable path forward and continue to preserve this intact wilderness, its people and its wildlife.

Claudia King