The area in question is part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which oil companies believe contain significant oil reserves.
It is also the area where the caribou deer come to calve — the lifeblood of the native community. They, understandably, are hostile to the proposals: “People who are trying to live a subsistence lifestyle are now very frustrated because the impacts of development have come very close to home,” says Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, deputy village mayor. But the US government sees it differently. Rather than reduce consumption, Bush wants to increase America’s oil reserves, and he denies that the coastal plain will suffer damage. Surprisingly, many Alaskans themselves approve of the proposals; 85% of their state revenue is from oil, which helps finance government services. Shots of the Alaskan coastline provide a stunning backdrop to this bitter and emotional debate.
ABC Australia – Ref. 1195
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