Norton ventures to Arctic
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APRIL 2, 2001

Secretary of Interior Gale Norton visited the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska over the weekend and met with Inupiat Eskimos in the village of Kaktovik, who want the area opened up to oil and gas development.

The village stands to gain economically from drilling in the Arctic. Arctic Slope Regional Corp., an Inpuiat Eskimo-owned corporation, also has mineral rights to about 92,000 acres of land in the refuege and could benefit should oil be found on the land.

The trip was arranged by Senator Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a drilling supporter. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, the ranking Democrat on the Committee who is opposed to drilling, also went on the trip.

Republican Senators Charles Hagel of Nebraska, George Allen of Virginia, and Wayne Allard of Colorado had planned to attend but canceled for personal reasons, reported The Los Angeles Times.

According to The Anchorage Daily News, Bingaman seemingly forgot to bring his own gloves and parka to the freezing Arctic. On Saturday, he was wearing a parka supplied by an oil company and had socks on his hands in the minus(-) 50 degree wind chill.

Senator Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) made the trip as well and told The Daily News he hasn't changed his mind about opposing drilling.

Get the Story:
Norton exposure (The Anchorage Daily News 4/2)
Norton Tours Ground Zero in the Oil Exploration Battle: Arctic Refuge (The Los Angeles Times 4/1)
ANWR benefits outweigh doubts in Kaktovik (The Anchorage Daily News 4/1)

Relevant Links:
Oil Issues in ANWR, US Fish and Wildlife -
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, US Fish and Wildlife Service -
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Pro-Development site -

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