Alaskans Speak Out Against Offshore Drilling

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In early April, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held public meetings in communities across Alaska’s North Slope to receive input on its proposed 2017-2022 Five Year Offshore Leasing Program.

Great things have been happening in Alaska this month.

In early April, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held public meetings in communities across Alaska’s North Slope to receive input on its proposed 2017-2022 Five Year Offshore Leasing Program. This program outlines how leasing will proceed over the next five years in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans and in the Gulf of Mexico.  At each meeting, local opposition to offshore drilling was strong!

 

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Photo: Jessica Girard (Fairbanks, Alaska)

After spending a week meeting with Arctic communities, BOEM traveled to Fairbanks and Anchorage, where they were greeted by hundreds of Alaskans opposed to offshore drilling! Alaskans who were concerned about offshore drilling far outnumbered those in favor of leasing our Arctic Ocean, with only 10-20 drilling supporters showing up at each hearing.

 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management hosts a public meeting to hear from people that may be impacted by oil and gas activities from leasing under the 2017-2022 Oil and Gas Program at a local hotel in Anchorage, Alaska on April 5, 2016. Many people coming out for the hearing support keeping dirty fuels in the ground and oppose any new offshore oil and gas drilling. Photo by Mark Meyer/Greenpeace

Photo: Greenpeace (Anchorage, Alaska)

The messages that were delivered to BOEM were strong. Janet Mitchell, administrator for Kivalina City Council, attended the Anchorage meeting. She made the following statement: “We have been living and responding to the dangers of erosion from climate change for years now. We have grave concerns about drilling in the Arctic because it is our livelihood, our survival that is threatened.”

 

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Photo: ShoreZone (Kivalina, Alaska)

From the opposite end of the state, fisherman Kory Blake came to Anchorage from Cordova to tell the story of what happened when the Exxon Valdez oil spill destroyed his commercial fishery. Today, almost three decades later, his way of life continues to be impacted, the result of a spill that ultimately affected 1,300 miles of shoreline and 11,000 square miles of Alaska’s ocean. His words made a very strong case that we can’t risk similar spills in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean.

 

Andy 5 yr plan Kory Blake

Photo: Greenpeace (Anchorage, Alaska)

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is continuing to solicit input about the five year leasing plan, with a comment deadline of May 2. You can find more information – and make your voice heard – below!

 

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Tell President Obama to STOP any future drilling in the Arctic Ocean!

Find more info at: http://boemoceaninfo.com/