Not all Alaskans support ANWR drilling

Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017 5:12 PM

The letter in the Nov. 21 Journal was somewhat misleading: Some Alaskans might benefit from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but certainly not all would agree that it would be in the best interests of all.

Nora Jane Burns, mayor of Kaktovik (population 239, last census), at one time supported drilling but has since changed her mind, according to a recent Fortune Magazine online report. A nearby village (Nuiqsut) was highly impacted by extraction: “Their hunting has changed. They suffer more respiratory disease. If our ecosystem is destroyed, what will we eat? Oil?”

A friend who currently lives in Cortez is a member of the Gwitch’in tribe and is totally opposed to oil and gas development of the ANWR. His people depend on the Porcupine caribou herd as their major food source. Drilling would upset the delicate balance in this roadless, pristine environment.

Federal land belongs to everyone in America, and the Arctic Refuge does not belong to Alaska. The Arctic Refuge is one of the last remaining, intact wildernesses in America and the coastal plain supports more than 250 species of mammals, fish, and more than 200 species of birds that fly to six continents.

If you value the preservation of this national treasure that became a federal-protected area under President Eisenhower’s administration, voice your concern to our Sen. Cory Gardner (202-224-5941) and tell him your opposition to ANWR drilling.

Mike Lavey