The magazine Politico has obtained leaked documents suggesting the Department of the Interior has altered the work of at least two agency scientists as it presses to finish the environmental reviews on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
It’s still too early to know if petroleum even exists in the refuge in commercially-viable quantities. But if it’s found, Kaktovik’s residents are simultaneously positioned to be among the biggest beneficiaries, and to experience some of the biggest disruptions.
Richard Glenn is an inconvenient truth for opponents of drilling in the Arctic Refuge. He presents a challenge to a prevalent narrative in Washington, D.C., that Native people oppose development in the Arctic.
It’s 3,200 miles from Joe Balash’s office in Washington, D.C., to the Neets’aii Gwich’in community of Arctic Village. But Arctic Village is barely 200 miles from North Pole, the Alaska town where Balash grew up.
As Arctic sea ice melts, polar bears are spending more time near the Alaska North Slope village of Kaktovik. Now, federal prosecutors have charging a man there with killing one in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Until recently, Gwich’in tribes were on the winning side of the battle over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Then, in late 2017, Congress opened the coastal plain to oil development.