With new legislation making its way through Congress, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has seen a bump in media coverage lately. ANWR may not be top of mind for much of America, but it is crucially important to America’s energy security. The 1.5 million acre swath of land was set aside in Alaska’s North Slope and is believed to contain massive amounts of oil and gas resources. A small segment of ANWR named the 10-02 Area (approximately 2,000 acres) is thought to be rich in energy resources, and has gained the interest of Congress.
Alaskans have recently spoken out about the great opportunities that opening up a sliver of ANWR could bring to their communities and state. Those that live closest to the 1002 Area have voiced their desire to see progress in the region, stating:
“My fellow Iñupiat and I firmly believe in a social license to operate, and perhaps no other potential project in the history of America has called for such a blessing from local indigenous peoples more than this one […] As Iñupiat, we stand to be unarguably the most affected by oil and gas activity in the Arctic. Therefore, we have the greatest stake in seeing that any and all development keeps our land and subsistence resources safe. We know it can be done, because it’s being done.”
– Matthew Rexford – President, Kaktovik Inupiat Corp
“Collectively, we are concerned about the future of our communities and, as of today, we stand together, with our members from Kaktovik, in support of ANWR development as part of the economic solution for the Arctic Slope region.”
– John Hopson Jr. – Mayor of Wainwright, AK
“Opening the Arctic refuge to oil production would not only resurrect Alaska’s economy and the economies of our Arctic communities, but it would make the U.S. more energy secure – especially as China, Russia and other European nations produce increasingly more Arctic energy,”
– Sayers Tuzroyluk – President, Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat
Alaska’s legislators have been instrumental in moving the latest resolutions forward, and have been outspoken about the benefits Alaska and America would see from opening ANWR:
“Opening up ANWR and all of Alaska’s immense resource potential has been a lifetime goal of mine, and of course I would like to see it safely developed, with a small footprint, like the state lands just to its west. Our delegation has my full support to do what’s best for Alaska as they move forward through the legislative process.”
“We’ve already seen what we’ve able to do in other states by fracking and becoming more energy independent and how it controls the OPEC nations. But this is the area where oil has been developed by God. It is only going to be available to the United States; it’s time the Congress steps forward and brings this to fruition for the people.”
“This provides an excellent opportunity for our committee to raise $1 billion in federal revenues while creating jobs and strengthening our nation’s long-term energy security.”
The vast majority of Alaskans are in favor of opening up the 1002 area of ANWR. For decades, the leaders of Alaska have been advocating for such action. It’s time for Congress to listen.