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Evangelicals Disappointed by Attack on Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

A Statement by the Rev. Mitch Hescox
President/CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network

In the great gospel song we sing “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” Even the sparrow does not escape God’s care, and He created us to care in His stead.

That is precisely why we are deeply disappointed by the inclusion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in the tax bill that recently passed both chambers of Congress. Now, after decades of bipartisan support for conserving this pristine landscape, the Department of the Interior has been not only authorized, but required to sell leases to the oil and gas industries for development.

The Refuge is home to a variety of creatures, from the sparrow to the porcupine caribou. As Pro-Life Christians, we cannot support any efforts that could result in the extinction of one of God’s creatures, such as the porcupine caribou whose population is threatened by drilling in the Arctic Refuge.  

We are called to by God to be good stewards of America’s majesty. That is why over 42,000 pro-life Christians have called on our leaders to preserve and protect the pristine lands God has given us. We are extremely troubled by this attempt to ruin this land and harm God’s creatures through oil and gas development.

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  • Kyle Meyaard-Schaap
    commented 2018-01-02 10:51:14 -0500
    Hi John, thanks for engaging our statement. Given the amount of infrastructure required for oil and gas exploration and extraction (i.e. temporary roads, extraction facilities, significant shipping traffic), coupled with the observable environmental impact of similar projects across the country, we believe it is highly unlikely that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could be developed safely. Given this reality, the precautionary principle would dictate that the industry first prove that it could be done safely before it is given permission to do so. The risk to wildlife and human rights is simply too high to do it any other way.
  • John Caldwell
    commented 2017-12-23 11:36:58 -0500
    Is there no way for the gas and oil industries to develop the area safely? Also, we learned from the flood, that it was kinds that God preserved, not species which is a modern, non-biblical classification.