'It’s the middle of the frigid, long midnight at Tapkaurak Point, a spit of gravel curling out into the Beaufort Sea off the northern coast of Alaska. Up in the middle of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the largest remaining wilderness area in the U.S., the sun set weeks ago and won’t peek above the horizon until the middle of January.
If you were there now, bundled up against the minus-20-degree chill, you could climb the low bluff at Tapkaurak, turn away from the frozen sea, and in the dim light cast by the moon and the stars you’d take in the expansive arctic plain giving way to the craggy Brooks Range to the south. In the middle of the plain, if the aurora borealis is bright enough, you might see poking out of the snow cover an upright post—physically insignificant but utterly out of place in the treeless Arctic landscape.
The post isn’t a trivial anomaly. It stands as a warning sign for all of us, advertising the ambitions of Big Oil to turn this place from a wilderness into an industrial profit mill. Wedged into last month’s $1.5 billion tax cut law, which benefits mostly the 1 percent, is a provision opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to commercial oil drilling.
After decades of being denied access to the refuge, the oil companies have achieved a legislative milestone. And absent a movement of popular resistance combined with legal action, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will join the growing list of places around the world plundered by CEOs and a political elite who put profits before people and the planet. We can and must stop them.'
Read more: Exposed: Chevron Has a Secretive Drilling Site in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
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