Activist Poll Conveniently Ignores Alaskan Support for Arctic Drilling
'It is only fitting that we allow Alaskans to speak for themselves'
Today, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), environmental groups opposed to oil and gas development, released a poll purportedly demonstrating “robust public support” for permanently banning offshore drilling in the Arctic.
Commenting, Arctic Energy Center spokesperson Lucas Frances said,
“What this poll conveniently ignores is the fact that those who live closest to the proposed development overwhelmingly support Arctic drilling: A 2014 poll found that 73 percent of Alaskans support Arctic drilling. In recent months, a large group of Alaska Natives, local business leaders, local elected officials and even state regulators petitioned the Department of the Interior to allow for Arctic oil and gas leasing in the next five years. Just several days ago, Anthony Edwardsen, chairman of the Arctic Inupiat Offshore and head of the Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation, an Alaska Native corporation based in Barrow, Alaska, wrote an opinion piece in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner explaining that the prospect of removing Arctic leases ‘threatens not only the economic well-being of Alaska, but also the sustainability of our Arctic communities, the Native Inupiat people and our traditional ways of life.’
“Not only does NRDC and LCV’s poll fail to capture the support for Arctic drilling from those who are most familiar with the issue, but the anti-development agenda peddled by activist groups infuriate Alaskans, whose views are systematically disregarded in favor of campaign rhetoric and media soundbites. It is only fitting that we allow Alaskans to speak for themselves: Two months ago, whaling captain and Wainwright Mayor John Hopson , Jr. wrote in a piece titled ‘Environmental organizations bring a self-serving interest to Arctic Alaska,’ ‘Organizations that wan[t] to turn our region into a wildlife refuge rather than recognizing the abundant resources which the Iñupiat people rely on – a healthy ecosystem to support subsistence resources, and oil and gas resources to support economic development – do not have our best interests in mind.’”
About the Arctic Energy Center
The Arctic Energy Center is a joint initiative of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association and the Independent Petroleum Association of America, founded to further public understanding of the science, technology and opportunity associated with Arctic energy exploration and development.