In an upsetting move, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan added an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would require the Department of the Interior to approve permits for the proposed Ambler Road. The amendment would require them to select Alternative A or B for the route to reach the Ambler Mining District, located in the heart of the Brooks Range.

This flies in the face of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who commented and spoke out against the road during the comment period last year. Sen. Sullivan is blatantly ignoring the voices of local residents who have stated that the road would irreversibly harm their traditional way of life, and he is disregarding the sound science gathered by the DOI. The Final Environmental Impact Statement clearly outlined that the road’s development would have massive negative impacts on the region’s lands, waters, and wildlife.

We encourage our members to write to key legislators decrying this decision. Unlike the Senator’s claims, this project does not secure America’s supply of critical minerals, nor does it improve our national defense. Copper is not a critical mineral, and the data on other minerals present is highly speculative. Further, any minerals sourced from the region would require shipment overseas for processing; they would not — and currently cannot — be processed in the U.S.

Email Sen. Sullivan and members of the Senate Committee on Armed Services and tell them that this amendment is disingenuous — it neither furthers American national security or critical minerals supplies, and as such, should be removed from the NDAA.

Dan Sullivan (R, AK)

Jack Reed (D, RI)

Mazie Hirono (D, HI)

Joe Manchin (D, WV)

Mark Kelly (D, AZ)

Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY)

Angus King (I, ME)

Updated July 11: Although this amendment has passed the Senate Committee on Armed Services, the legislature will still be discussing the NDAA for several months, so it is not too late to write your senators and call for them to defend the Brooks Range.