“We’ve been down this road before” says Netro about possible drilling in ANWR

An undated photo of the Porcupine Caribou in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Courtesy of The US Fish and Wildlife Service)

More reaction from Gwich’in and Northern politicians arose over the weekend from last Thursday’s announcement of possible oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Lorraine Netro is a member of the Gwich’in Steering Committee. She was not surprised by Senator Murkowski’s announcement last week, calling for drilling pads, roads and pipeline expansion, 2000 acres inside the Refuge.

“Well we’ve been down this road before. We were under extreme pressure in 2004 and 2005 for oil and gas drilling in the calving grounds, and over the years we have managed to keep the oil and gas companies at bay,” Netro told CKLB on Friday.

Netro says she appreciates the words of support from the Liberal MPs of the NWT and Yukon, but hopes Prime Minister Trudeau can do more.

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell says while American politicians don’t vote on party lines as closely as Canadians, a filibuster from Democrat Senators is the best political tool at this time.

“The big work for us as lobbyists and the Gwich’in who are the best lobbyists and the Alaska Wilderness League, are to make sure all the Democrats in the US Senate are on side. They are the only ones who can really stop the legislation, obviously the other parts of the US government want this drilling to go ahead, but the Democrats have enough that they could stop it,” explained Bagnell on Friday.

About the Author

Josh Campbell
Josh Campbell has returned to the CKLB News Team. He covered female university soccer and volleyball in New Brunswick, prior to graduating from Loyalist College in Mohawk Territory near Belleville, Ontario in 2007. He's covered politics and Indigenous stories in both the NWT and Yukon over the last 10 years.

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