Environmental Studies Prof. Op-Ed Lands in 'USA Today'

David Murphy, assistant professor of environmental studies, wrote an opinion article that both praised Republican House members for taking a stance against a provision in this year's Senate tax bill that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to development and showed that the Senate's provision would cost tax payers more than they would receive in return. His piece ran on Dec. 13 in USA Today.

He praised Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who represents New York's 21st Congressional District where St. Lawrence University is located, for showing leadership on the important issue and for writing a bill that affirms the House's commitment to “conservative environmental stewardship.”

"Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a direct violation of these principles. ANWR is one of the largest intact ecosystems left on our planet and one of the most valuable pieces of our nation’s environment," Murphy wrote. "Drilling in the Arctic refuge will most likely cost the U.S. taxpayers as it is currently written in the Senate's tax bill. To make Congress’ math work, companies must bid at least $2 billion just to lease the land — equivalent to roughly $1,300 per acre — and any amount below $2 billion will actually add to the deficit."

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Murphy had worked on a report for the Alaska Wilderness League on Arctic drilling, which has been widely cited in national media, including The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post and Mother Jones. He was also quoted in November 3 in a The Washington Post/Bloomberg article on the proposal to sell oil-drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.