Sample Seismic Letters to the Editor

The Bureau of Land Management recently published a short document that indicates they are moving forward with potential seismic exploration of the Arctic Refuge National Wildlife Refuge as early as this winter. The BLM’s failure to have a clear and open public process around this proposed destructive activity on some of our wildest public lands in unacceptable. 24 to 30 trucks each weighing 90,000 pounds will drive every square inch of the ecologically critical coastal plain while blasting seismic waves is unacceptable. To put that in perspective, the weight limit for 18-wheeler trucks on American highways is only 80,000 pounds. The creation of camps, snow roads, and airstrip to support over 300 workers running a 24/7 operation in some of the most critical on land denning site in Alaska is unacceptable. I call on the BLM to conduct this process in a public manner and listen to the citizens not just the corporations.   [153 words]


The coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is critical habitat. A nursey for species year round, the coastal plain support thousands of calving caribous in the spring, nesting migratory birds in the summer, and denning polar bears in the winter. This unique habitat is on the forefront of impacts from climate change. And another threat is now looming, thanks to the Trump administrations rushed efforts approve seismic activity as early as this winter and hold lease sales by next summer. This administration has placed arbitrary deadlines and limitations on environmental reviews across the board. Using a hurried, predetermined plan to complete the leasing EIS within one year and limit it to 150 pages is incompatible with protecting the wilderness and wildlife values of the coastal plain or the subsistence needs of the Gwich’in people. The reason for these arbitrary deadlines and abbreviated reviews is clear. A comprehensive review would only come to one conclusion, industry and wildlife do not mix.  [162 words]


Thanks to last year’s GOP tax bill, oil industry allies in Congress were able to circumvent normal legislative channels and slip Arctic Refuge drilling into the tax legislation using an expedited legislative process. The rushed, back door process continues, as the BLM announced a plan to conduct damaging seismic exploration in the Refuge as early as this December. Only a short 7 page document has been made public and there has been no announcement on if or when a comment period will be conducted for the public to weigh in. The proposed seismic activity would leave lasting scars across the coastal plain, the scars of the 2-D seismic testing completed on the coastal plain in 1984 and 1985 are still visible 30 years later. As someone who works to leave no trace as I explore and enjoy our public lands, this is unacceptable.  [143 words]