Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today successfully fought back against an amendment to H.R. 2406, the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE), which would designate the coastal plain of the Arctic Wildlife National Refuge (ANWR) as wilderness. Representing the first vote on the matter since President Obama’s callous proposal in January 2015, Young says the amendment's defeat – by a vote 176 to 227 – sends a clear and resounding message to the White House: “These attacks on Alaska’s future will not be tolerated.”
Congressman Young speaking against an amendment to designate the coastal plain of ANWR as wilderness (click here to watch).
“I have always admired my friend from California, but he doesn’t know squat about ANWR. That’s the truth. You may have camped out in it, but you didn’t camp out in the area that we would like to develop oil – that this Congress set aside for a purpose…,” said Congressman Don Young. “We have 18 billion barrels of oil, 74 miles away from an existing pipeline on the Coastal Plain.... This is a reserve set aside by Scoop Jackson, a Democrat, myself and Ted Stevens, so it would be there for potential development when Congress acts. To put this into Wilderness on the behalf and behest of a group of people that really doesn’t understand this… You say Alaska supports your amendment; in that case I won’t be back here next year… but Alaska supports [the development of ANWR]. It’s federal oil; it’s not Alaska’s oil. But we have the infrastructure in place right now that can be used to move that oil if and when it’s needed.”
Working to counter an argument that resource developers have “not seen fit to develop” the nearby NPR-A, Congressman Young said:
“I always listen to these arguments, well written by the Sierra Club and the other people who like to take this nation to its knees; which is reality. We talk about the NPR-A, set aside for use by this nation; they are drilling. They are drilling today. ConocoPhillips is going in. But ironically – for some reason – the sales put up by this administration were not where they wanted to drill. I have an old saying; you don’t hunt rabbits on a pool table just because it’s green. You don’t drill oil if it’s not there.”
Congressman Young has consistently fought to defend Alaska’s energy interests, including numerous efforts to open ANWR for development.
- In July, Young successfully offered an amendment to the Department of Interior Appropriations bill that would limits funds from being used to implement the Obama administration’s revised conservation plan for managing the coastal plain of ANWR as wilderness.
H.R. 2406, the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE), is a bipartisan package of bills focused on protecting and enhancing opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting. The bill, which passed 242-161, includes two stand alone bills and one Alaskan focused amendment sponsored by Congressman Young.