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.
Many of the Alaska Native residents of Kaktovik, the one small village inside the refuge, see oil development as an opportunity, though some remain deeply skeptical.
The U.S. Interior Department is re-evaluating the management plan for the reserve, aiming to open up land that’s currently off-limits to oil leasing.
“There’s probably going to be a greater amount of uncertainty with some of the information that we’re able to provide, because it’s simply not going to be as precise as it used to be,” said wildlife biologist Todd Atwood.
Federal law prohibits sales of African elephant ivory, but a handful of states have now banned the sale of ivory more broadly. That has repercussions for Alaska Native walrus ivory carvers.
ConocoPhillips has announced it intends to buy 21,000 acres from Caelus Natural Resources, which includes the Nuna oil discovery.
With large differences remaining over permanent fund dividends, that means the special session will likely end Thursday or Friday with more work left to do.
The Trump administration remains on track to hold an oil lease sale in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge this year, a top Interior Department official confirmed Thursday.
In Utqiaġvik, snerts is one of the most popular games in town. Die-hard enthusiasts play on a regular basis, and there’s even an annual spring tournament.
It’s the first time in years that private industry in the state has pitched in money to move the gasline project forward.