Green group poll: Arctic refuge drilling unpopular in key GOP districts
A proposal to allow drilling in a section of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is unpopular in several key House districts Republicans are looking to defend next year, according to a poll released Wednesday.
The survey, from the League of Conservation Voters, found 61 percent of voters in eight GOP-held House districts oppose drilling in the Arctic refuge, while only 29 percent support it.
A majority of respondents in seven of the eight districts told pollsters their opinion of their House member would decline if the member votes to allow drilling in ANWR.
The drilling proposal is less popular than the GOP tax plan, which 34 percent of respondents support and 48 percent oppose. The two proposals are expected to be linked together as Congress debates the tax bill next month.
The League of Conservation Voters opposes drilling in ANWR. Its poll comes a week after the Senate Energy Committee approved a bill from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) calling for drilling lease sales in a small portion of the refuge.
Republicans say drilling can be done safely, would create jobs in Alaska and raise revenue for the federal and state governments. Opponents of the proposal contend ANWR is too environmentally sensitive to allow drilling there.
The League of Conservation Voters’s poll covered the districts of Republican Reps. Darrell Issa (Calf.), Brian Mast (Fla.), Bruce Poliquin (Maine), John Faso (N.Y.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Ryan Costello (Pa.), Patrick Meehan (Pa.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.).