Push for offshore drilling disregards ocean, culture


The 9th Circuit Court recently declared the federal decision to allow drilling in the Beaufort Sea was illegal. I am a member of REDOIL (Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands), a plaintiff in the case. I live in Kaktovik and I am Inupiaq.

….We have the right to continue our culture and subsistence way of life. We must be involved in preserving what we've had for thousands of years. The Gwich'in have similar concerns with development of the Arctic Refuge. If we wish to preserve our culture by preserving our environment, we must also support them, or be looked upon as hypocritical.

The balance of our land is compromised already by climate change, which is caused by excessive burning of fossil fuels. We have hardly any musk ox; polar bears are imperiled; the Porcupine caribou herd is down more than 50,000 animals; birds are in decline; yet they clamor, "Drill, baby, drill."