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Opinion: Trump's ruinous parting shot at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

November 18, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The nation's largest such refuge is many things: an awe-inspiring landscape of soaring mountains and lake-filled plains. Home to wolves, whales, polar bears and caribou that help sustain the Gwich'in tribe. What it is not, writes Victoria Herrmann, is our country's energy future. So why is the lame-duck President Trump opening it up to oil leases?

But on Monday, the outgoing Trump administration began the leasing process for oil and gas drilling sites in ANWR.

Though long-prized by Republicans and oil companies for domestic development, drilling in ANWR today makes neither economic nor security sense.

And with a president-elect poised to use the pandemic's recovery to jumpstart an economic transition away from oil to 100% renewable energy, any new development -- including ANWR wells -- will soon become a valueless stranded asset.

But the climate catastrophes that come from burning fossil fuels are infinite: Every barrel of oil we choose to extract from new fields like ANWR is another step toward a future defined by desolation.

Their plan commits America to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and transitioning equitably away from the extraction, production and burning of fossil fuels -- including the oil beneath ANWR.

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