DOI vows safeguards for Alaska Natives in off-shore drilling

The Obama administration released a five-year plan to expand off-shore drilling in Alaska.

The Interior Department says drilling won't be allowed unless Alaska Native concerns are addressed. The Beaufort and Chukchi Seas are the subsistence whaling and hunting grounds for the Inupiat people.

"In Alaska and off its coast, the Proposed Program recommends that the current inventory of already-leased areas in the Arctic should be expanded only after additional evaluations have been completed, and in a manner that accounts for the Arctic’s unique environmental resources and the social, cultural, and subsistence needs of Native Alaskan communities,” Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes said in a press release.

The Native Village of Point Hope, a federally recognized tribe, is currently fighting a drilling plan in the Arctic Ocean.

Get the Story:
U.S. to Open New Areas to Offshore Drilling (The New York Times 11/9)
Obama to expand oil drilling off Alaska, in Gulf of Mexico (AP 11/8)

An Opinion:
Our view: Drilling and politics (The Anchorage Daily News 11/9)

Related Stories:
Alaska Native village corporation backs off-shore drilling (10/26)
Alaska Natives ask 9th Circuit to block off-shore drilling plans (9/30)

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