Disappointed about Arctic Power decision

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, February 25, 2005

As a 43-year resident of Alaska and as a grandma, I am disappointed that Arctic Power was given more state money to continue their distortion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Have you looked at their Web page? It contains white winter frozen photos, the same misrepresentation that our now-governor used. Remember when he held up a piece of blank white poster board and told his Senate peers that ANWR is "nothing." They are wrong. Morally and ethically, they don't get it or maybe they just do not care. What a pitiful example for our young people.

We know ANWR supports hundreds of species of life. In the summer it is a vibrant grazing, nesting, and birthing area. In the winter polar bears den there, and they will abandon their young with increased winter activity. We understand that the coastal plain of ANWR is sacred ground to the Gwich'in people that depend on the porcupine caribou. Morally how can we justify drilling there for a possible few months of oil 10 years away?

Why are we letting this governor and Arctic Power get by with their distortions? Why are we paying for it with state money? Are we really duping ourselves that it will benefit us in some way? Are we willing to ignore scientific facts and willing to disrespect another culture for our own selfishness?

I grew up in a blue-collar family, worked on the oil pipeline and lived and worked on the North Slope. I plan to work on the gas line if folks can get it together before I am too darn old. I have been waiting for more than 25 years.

However, I strongly believe we must protect ANWR now. It is the place where life begins. It is the last 3 percent of protected Arctic. We must be honest about the future. The possible gain is not worth the predictable losses. We have a responsibility to our young people.

Please call this governor and his Arctic Power cronies on their skewed reality. Do not continue to support Arctic Power with state money. Three major oil companies have backed off supporting ANWR at this time. Let's get a clue and follow suit.

Patricia Garrett


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