Many Alaska Communities Praise Halting of Arctic Drilling

Alaskan communities closest to the proposed drilling are praising today’s decision. The Native Village of Point Hope has been one of the most vocal opponents of Shell’s plan and has sued to stop the company’s exploration work. They’ve argued that an oil spill in the remote waters of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas would be far harder to clean up than in the Gulf of Mexico. Caroline Cannon is president of the Native Village of Point Hope. She is overjoyed by the decision, but wishes it didn’t have to come as a result of the disaster in the Gulf, which was announced as surpassing the Exxon Valdez disaster as the worst in US history on Thursday.

Environmental groups are also welcoming the news. Cindy Shogan the executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League, says her group wasn’t sure how the Administration would weigh-in on the Arctic plans, especially with so much focus on stopping the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and making decisions about deepwater drilling there.

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage and Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC

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