Republican Senators may hold the key to protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the coming months. This business sign on letter targets a key Republican Senator in your state who will likely be voting on opening the Arctic Refuge to drilling through a budget reconciliation process when Congress is back in session.
Located in the northeastern corner of Alaska, the Arctic Refuge is the most iconic wildlife refuge, home to the Gwich’in people, and one of America’s crown jewels of recreation. Those lucky enough to visit remember it as the trip of a lifetime. Few places in the world offer the rare opportunity to encounter a vast array of wildlife while hiking, fishing, or paddling through a pristine, wild landscape. For over 30 years, the area has been the focus of a controversial debate over oil drilling. The oil industry and Alaska politicians have long sought to remove protections for the area and open it to oil drilling, while a majority of Americans and a diverse coalition of businesses, faith leaders, hunters and anglers, conservationists and more have sought to keep the Arctic Refuge the way that it is today. President Trump has now reopened the debate by including an Arctic Refuge drilling provision in the proposed budget that he recently sent to Congress.
We need you and your business to remind your Senator that protecting iconic areas like the Arctic Refuge is good for business. Please use your business voice to take action and urge your senators to oppose drilling in the Arctic Refuge.
The Honorable Lindsey Graham
United States Senate
290 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Graham,
We, the undersigned businesses, are writing to express our opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We are especially concerned that the Trump Administration has included an Arctic Refuge drilling provision in its proposed budget, and we strongly believe that the budget process is no place for the consideration of a controversial, high profile issue like this one. We urge you to keep protections for the Arctic Refuge in place, and we believe that this will continue to be one of the few national issues that helps define any senator’s overall record on the outdoors.
Our businesses depend on the outdoors as the places where our customers hike, ski, mountain bike, camp, hunt, fish, and otherwise explore. It is because of our country’s outdoors that people buy our products and then go on day trips, weekend outings, or longer adventures, spending additional money along the way that helps bolster local and regional economies.
The impact of our industry is both quantifiable and increasing. The Outdoor Industry Association’s most recent economic report estimated that the outdoor industry generates $887 billion in annual consumer spending and supports 7.6 million jobs. This includes over $16.3 billion and 151,000 jobs in South Carolina. The most exciting aspect of this impact is that it is entirely sustainable and we fully expect that it will continue to increase, so long as our country’s natural resources and our outdoor infrastructure are properly managed and supported.
The majority of Americans explore the outdoors close to where they live. But we know that iconic places help drive interest, hobbies, and aspiration. Even if you never visit Yosemite and see El Capitan in person, it might still inspire you to visit your local park or start learning how to rock climb.
We know that the same is true for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This wild, beautiful land is arguably the most iconic destination for remote outdoor recreation in our country. It captures the idea of what true, untouched wilderness must be like, and it inspires Americans across the country to get outside and explore. It is good for our businesses and for the entire outdoor recreation economy to ensure that iconic places like the Arctic Refuge remain protected.
Thank you for considering our request to keep the Arctic Refuge’s current protections in place and to keep any discussion of the issue out of the budget process.