Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition

Tim Ellis/KUAC

About 250 people turned out Tuesday at a meeting in Fairbanks to offer comments on a federal plan to launch an oil and gas leasing program in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Most of those who showed up for the meeting at the Carlson Center oppose the plan, because they say it would disrupt caribou calving season and harm Native subsistence and culture – and the environment. Backers of the plan say coastal-plain development would boost Alaska’s economy.

Senate Republican Policy Cmte

Now that Congress has OK’d oil and gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain, opponents are preparing for the next phase in their decades-long struggle to protect the environmentally sensitive area.