On May 15 delegations from the Arctic, Gulf and Atlantic rallied at the White House before marching to the Lincoln Memorial. In the days that followed, they met directly with numerous congressional and administration officials. Their goal? To make sure Congress and President Obama stop drilling off their coasts.
Members of the Point Lay Tribal Council came from the Arctic, plus representatives from the coastal communities of Shishmaref, Point Hope, Hooper Bay and Kaktovik in Alaska. From the Gulf, Representatives traveled from Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida to ask for protection for the Gulf of Mexico, and Dr. Kyle Horton traveled from the coastal town of Kure Beach, North Carolina to discuss the risks to the Atlantic coast.
On Sunday, May 15, more than 1,300 people gathered in front of the White House to demand President Obama to stop drilling and keep fossil fuels in the ground.
The group marched from the White House to the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool, chanting the entire 1.5-mile walk. Chants included “keep it in the ground,” “no new leases” and “save our Arctic.”
At the Lincoln Memorial, some members of the Arctic delegation shared a traditional Inupiaq song and dance for the crowd. MC Reverend Yearwood from the Hip Hop Caucus closed the event by paraphrasing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous words: “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we are fossil fuel free at last.”
The following Monday, the delegation began meeting with congressional and administration officials to share their message of stopping offshore drilling. Pictured above is the group with congressional champion Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ).
On Tuesday, the Tribal Council from the Native Village of Point Lay met with the Council on Environmental Quality, including Managing Director Christy Goldfuss.
Advocates from the Arctic, Gulf and Atlantic met with Arctic champion, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) on Tuesday. Many thank yous were shared for his leadership on stopping offshore drilling.
Next stop for the group was a meeting with Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), another champion, to thank him for his work on protecting all oceans from offshore drilling.
There is still time to add your voice in opposition to offshore drilling. Leave your comment telling President Obama to remove the Arctic lease sales from the 5-year plan. Comment period closes on June 16.