Target: Don Young, U.S. House of Representatives (R-Alaska)
Goal: Retract absurd statement that the Fish and Wildlife Service is playing God by accepting public comments on potential updates to drilling regulations in wildlife refuges
Alaska is often credited with being the only state that still contains truly uninhabited, uncharted wilderness. The Fish and Wildlife Service has been taking steps to protect the natural beauty of Alaska from the destruction of oil drilling. However, one man is trying to stop it. Rep. Don Young is a Republican congressman who represents the state of Alaska. He calls any regulation of oil drilling in wildlife sanctuaries, “a hare-brained idea.”
Representative Young has served in the House of Representatives since 1973. Since then, he has opposed environmental protection and conservation legislation at every turn. This time, however, his vitriolic words are in response to nothing more than a Fish and Wildlife call for public comments and input on possible future legislation. The Fish and Wildlife Service’s survey, offered on its website was intended to elicit input from the community on how best to update its regulations, including protecting wildlife reserves from oil drilling, which have not been updated in over 50 years. They received 47,454 public comments in regards to possible regulations for oil and gas development.
His response was as nonsensical as it was hateful. He said in a subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, “The whole, god-darned, blessed Fish and Wildlife department has got this idea again they’re God, and Congress doesn’t count. This is America — not a bunch of dictators dictating through agencies that are taking away the rights as individuals that Congress said they had.”
Representative Young continued, targeting peaceful environmental activist groups in his statement; “You’re going to go hear from the Sierra Club. You’re going to hear from ‘Save the Earth Club.’ Are you going to listen and give credit to those that live there and were guaranteed by Congress the right to develop their resources for their social and economic mobility, or are you going to listen to a bunch of jackasses from societies that don’t even live there?”
Please sign the petition letter below to urge Representative Young to retract his hateful and nonsensical remarks, and to apologize to the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Dear Rep. Don Young,
Your remarks on drilling for oil in wildlife reserves were not only ignorant, they were exceedingly hateful to those peacefully expressing disagreement with your position. The Fish and Wildlife Service merely solicited comments on wildlife protection; it did not propose any new legislation or regulations at this time. The agency is not a dictatorship either, as you suggested in your hyperbolic statement.
I am writing today to ask that you retract your statements made at the subcommittee hearing on June 10. I am also in favor of you issuing an immediate apology to the Fish and Wildlife Service, and all Americans who care about their environment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dean Biggins via Wikimedia Commons