To the editor: The proposed lease sale of the nation’s federally protected Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is up for grabs. It appears that not only are a few Alaska legislators out of touch but also they are attempting to capitalize off a broken system that no longer serves the majority of its residents. Future generations will need sustainable systems in order to survive what is becoming the sixth mass extinction. The administration’s Tax Cut and Jobs Act serves only to pass the buck to wealthy shareholders and drastically fails to redistribute funds for the necessary general welfare of society.
Last week’s front headline, “Hilcorp faces scrutiny amid BP acquisition,” highlights the nature of gambling with Alaska’s future as the state moves forward in land lease sales to expand drilling into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain. A bill in Congress — the “Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act,” HR 1146 (recently passed in the House) — would restore necessary protections to ANWR. We need to remind the honorable Alaska senator and Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee chairwoman: “Energy is dominance,” but only when it’s properly managed.
The Hilcorp merger brings up serious questions as Alaskans are witnessing a private corporation preparing to take over our public infrastructure. BP and ARCO collected billions in tariffs (per federal government agreement) for the purpose of dismantling oil infrastructure. Why was Hilcorp able buy out BP without dismantlement liability? Hilcorp has a closed-book policy, questionable reputation and, worse, no transition plan or proof it possesses emergency funding. Do your part by voicing concern on this matter.
The Alaska Federation of Natives gave voice to their younger generation as they declared a state of emergency on climate change, and now we must support them in building a safe, livable future for the state and beyond.