Glad Stefanik opposes Alaskan oil drilling

To the editor:

Re: “Stefanik signs letter opposing Alaskan oil drilling,” Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Dec. 5:

Congresswoman Stefanik has clearly demonstrated her independence once again by not supporting the tax reform bill, which eliminates our ability to deduct state and local taxes. I am all for making the tax code simpler and providing tax relief, but it must be fair for all Americans and not punish those who live in high-tax states like New York. Although the legislation has passed both the House and Senate, my hope is that Congress restores the deduction during conference committee meetings.

Tucked away in the tax reform bill is an initiative to allow for oil and gas exploration in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This “rider” should be pulled out and debated separately from the tax reform bill. Credit to Stefanik and some of her colleagues for recognizing this and calling for its removal.

As a lifelong conservative Republican, I have always had a healthy respect for the environment and an appreciation for those who advocate to protect our natural resources. Having worked at the Department of Environmental Conservation early in my career, I also had the honor of working for one of the most conservation-minded executives in New York state’s history in Gov. George Pataki.

I applaud the congresswoman’s position of opposing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

I am all for energy independence; I think it is vital for our national security and our economy. Just as the Adirondack Park is protected, it is important that Congress protect and continue to prohibit oil and gas development in the refuge.

There are many places where drilling can and should occur, but certainly not in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Bill McGahay

Conservative state committeeman, 21st Congressional District

Lake Placid