The Latest: Critics protest drilling in Arctic refuge
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on public testimony regarding proposed oil lease sales in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (all times local):
Critics of proposed oil lease sales in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge urged federal officials to consider the long-term environmental effects of petroleum extraction on northern Alaska.
Laura Herman told Interior Department officials at a hearing Monday in Anchorage that the signs of climate change are apparent. She says extraction of fossil fuel as well as the burning of it will harm people in the region.
Siqiniq (SIC-in-iq) Maupin of the village of Nuiqsut (noo-IK-sut) said the industry is polluting air.
Other Alaskans said lease sales should go forward. Ken Federico, who has worked in the North Slope oil fields, said environmental protections are strong.
Carl Portman said he’s like many Alaskans who do not work for the oil industry but his livelihood depends on it.
Alaska Natives who rely on caribou for subsistence are lining up in the state’s largest city to protest federal plans for petroleum development in a wilderness area.
Environmental groups and other opponents are expected at a Bureau of Land Management meeting in Anchorage on Monday. The agency plans to discuss a draft environmental review on drilling within the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Congress in December 2017 approved a tax bill that requires an oil and gas lease sale in the refuge to raise revenue for a tax cut backed by President Donald Trump.
Critics say the tax bill overstated what the federal government will earn from least sales. They say development will create a web of roads and pipelines and could harm the Porcupine Caribou Herd.