The Arctic Energy Center released a new infographic illustrating the results of a poll that found that 76 percent of Alaskans, and 72 percent of Alaska Natives, support offshore oil and gas development in the Arctic.
Other findings of the poll, which surveyed Alaskan residents exclusively, include:
- 66 percent believe that the opinion of local residents should matter most when considering Arctic oil and gas leasing;
- 68 percent support Arctic oil and gas leasing because of its importance to the economy;
- 64 percent believe banning Arctic offshore leasing is federal overreach;
- 67 percent support American Arctic energy development in order to prevent Russia from taking control of the region.
In an executive memorandum issued in the last days of his presidency, President Obama imposed a ban on future Arctic offshore oil and gas development by invoking an obscure provision in a 1953 law. The robust majority of Alaskans who support Arctic offshore oil and gas development, as demonstrated in this poll, offers a compelling reason why President Trump must revisit and reverse this harmful ban as soon as possible.
In an accompanying opinion piece also published yesterday, AEC explains how President Obama’s decision to ban Arctic offshore resource development contravenes the Alaskan business groups, labor unions, Native organizations, elected officials, and former military leaders who had repeatedly petitioned the Obama Administration to support Arctic drilling. The piece also urges President Trump to pursue a more responsible Arctic policy by rescinding President Obama’s memorandum within the first 100 days of his presidency:
“In newspaper opinions, congressional testimonies, meetings with Administration officials, and even a series of advertisements, groups representing wide-ranging interests, came together to advocate for continued offshore oil and gas development and ensure that Alaska’s perspective was heard beyond state lines and especially by decision makers in Washington D.C. … To ignore the opinions of the people of Alaska, and the reality of the resource that resides in America’s Arctic, we would forgo not only the tenets of our democracy but our future energy needs.”