Native Alaskans oppose oil and gas drilling in Arctic Ocean

09/21/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

Two hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle, on the northwest coast of Alaska, is the Native Village of Point Hope. Even though the village is more than five thousand miles from Florida, the two regions are struggling with a similar environmental issue: whether to allow offshore oil and gas drilling.

In its final weeks in office, the George W. Bush administration submitted an accelerated draft offshore leasing program to expand development in the Arctic Ocean and Bristol Bay in the Bering Sea.

Native Inupiat people rely on the bowhead whale and other wildlife, which they say could be threatened by oil spills.

On Thursday afternoon WMNF spoke with Mae Hank, an Alaska Native and former Native Village of Point Hope Tribal Council Member about the Bush-era drilling proposal and their efforts to reverse it.

The public comment period closes on Monday.

comment to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

Point Hope

Alaska Wild


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