Last week’s feast of the Queenship of Mary reminded us of our mission to follow Christ in working for justice and peace. Plans to allow oil and gas leasing programs to operate in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to wolves, caribou, and other wildlife. The drilling also threatens the culture and livelihood of the indigenous Gwich’in tribe, who consider the land sacred and subsist on hunting the caribou. In 2006 similar plans to drill in the Refuge were defeated and environmental groups are once again planning to file lawsuits.
Increasing pollution from fossil fuels, the proposed activity seems both unwise and unnecessary. In January 2020, a report indicated that the US has achieved significant gains in oil and gas production over the last decade. Citing operational difficulties and increased cost caused by warming temperatures and decreased demand for fuel, BP is considering ending current operations in Alaska. In addition, major banks are becoming increasingly reluctant to underwrite the fossil fuel industry.
In Genesis, we read that God breathed life into humans; we can show gratitude for that gift by advocating for renewable energy.