Alaskans gathered in downtown Anchorage on Wednesday night to weigh in on the Trump administration’s proposal to open almost all Alaska waters to oil and gas development.
The Wednesday night meeting was the only opportunity for Alaskans to comment on the draft proposal in person, and many showed up to speak out against it.
Adrienne Titus helped organize a protest outside the meeting.
“When it comes to oil and gas development in our water and on our land, it’s going to highly affect not just our land and our water, but our people, our cultures, who we are — our identity, our food security,” said Titus, who is with the nonprofit Native Movement.
But another group of Alaskans showed up to support more offshore drilling opportunities.
Resource Development Council deputy director Carl Portman says his group doesn’t necessarily want to open up all the areas proposed by the Trump administration.
But Portman sees a lot of economic potential for Alaska in Arctic waters.
“23, 24 billion barrels. That’s huge. But that’s a very long-term prospect,” he said. “But if you have children here in Alaska that want to make Alaska home and raise their children here, then this is something you need to be paying attention to.”
The Interior Department expects to make a final decision on the offshore plan by the end of 2019.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska will no longer make new matches between youths and volunteers in four Alaska communities: Haines, Homer, Hoonah, and Sitka. The organization that matches volunteers and youth for one-on-one mentoring, says it’s a matter of reduced federal and state grant funding.
- The pilot won't serve jail time, but must pay the state $25,000 and the family $6,100 in restitution. The judge expressed doubt that it would send the aviation community much of a message.
- Superior Court Judge Dwayne McConnell sentenced a former Tuluksak teacher to 10 years in prison, with six of those years suspended. John Paul Donald Douglas, 37, had pleaded guilty to one consolidated count of possession of child pornography.
- Police say they followed the suspect from a hotel and confronted him once he pulled over into a ditch. As Austin SWAT officers approached, the suspect detonated a bomb in his car.