Protestors target Texas company planning seismic survey in Alaska’s Arctic refuge

This undated photo shows the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Getty Images)
A group of Native American protestors went to the offices of SAExploration in Houston, Texas Monday to object to work the company wants to do in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), in northern Alaska.

Protestors streamed video of their event in Texas on Facebook. It showed the group crowded into the reception area of the company’s office. They left a stack of boxes they said contained more than 100,000 messages urging SAExploration to give up its ANWR project.

Organizers included the Sierra Club and Alaskan Bernadette Demientieff, director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee.

SAExploration has applied for permission to conduct a seismic survey in the refuge this winter and next, using a fleet of tracked vehicles to thump the ground. The plan is to survey the entire 1002 area, the coastal plain that Congress opened for leasing.

Before the partial government shutdown, the company was in talks with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to resolve concerns about denning polar bears. The CEO told the Anchorage Daily News last month the shutdown was delaying their plans.

The company did not respond to phone and email messages Monday.

Despite the shutdown, the Bureau of Land Management is advancing a plan to hold a lease sale in the refuge this year.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canadian Chamber of Commerce backs carbon pricing, but not for the North, CBC News

Finland: Teen protesters in Helsinki demand climate action, Yle News

Norway: Norway ramps up oil and gas production in Arctic despite looming climate crisis, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Moscow tries to adapt to a fast-warming Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Too young to vote, Swedish student Greta Thunberg goes on strike for climate action, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. bill would give Alaska Native corporations share of ANWR oil revenue, Alaska Public Media

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media

For more news from Alaska visit Alaska Public Media.

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