Obama prohibited drilling in the ANWR for the optics but allowed it in
offshore Alaskan waters.
By Brett Wilkins, November 16, 2020
In what critics are calling a parting gift to the fossil fuel
industry, the Trump administration on Tuesday will ask oil and gas
companies to choose which areas of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
in Alaska - which is the sacred homeland of the Gwich'in Indigenous
people - they would like to drill.
The Republican-controlled Congress approved drilling in the massive,
pristine ANWR in 2017. The reserve is home to the Gwich'in people, who
call it "Iizhik Gwats'an Gwandaii Goodlit," or, "the sacred place
where life begins." ANWR boasts some 270 species, including all of the
world's remaining South Beaufort Sea polar bears, 250 musk oxen,
Arctic foxes, and hundreds of thousands of snow geese and other birds
which fly there from all 50 states and around the world.
The Gwich'in rely on the region's rich biodiversity, especially its
200,000-strong porcupine caribou herd, for their survival. "What
impacts the caribou, impacts the Gwich'in," Bernadette Demientieff,
executive director of the Gwich'in Steering Committee, told Yes!.
In addition to opening ANWR to oil and gas drilling, the Trump
administration is also redefining what constitutes a "critical
habitat" for endangered species, as well as when corporations are
deemed liable for killing migrating birds.
-- Cont'd at https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/11/16/trump-administration-rushes-auction-arctic-national-wildlife-refuge-drilling-rights