“Near-deaths and freezing, running out of gas are some of the issues surrounding being able to go between communities,” said Gordon Brower, director of the North Slope Borough’s Planning and Community Services Department.
Gov. Michael Dunleavy proposed doing away with $20 million in education funding approved by the Legislature in 2018. Superintendents and lawmakers say school districts were counting on that money, and many have already started spending it.
Survival course trainees are exposed to subzero temperatures and winds that gust up to 30-plus miles an hour. “They don’t go back inside after they come out here and begin the training,” said instructor Sgt. Garrett Wright.
Throughout the hearing, an organized group of opponents from communities across the state provided much of the public testimony against development in the refuge, holding up bandannas and signs that said: “Defend the Sacred: Protect the Arctic.”
Moscow has been building its military presence in the Arctic, and one Russia scholar says she’s grown increasingly concerned. While Russia’s Arctic ambitions worry regional experts, so do the lack of ambitions on the part of the United States.