Drilling dispute splits Natives
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The rhetoric is sometimes heated and the history often troublesome but according to an Inupiat Eskimo lobbying for opening the Arctic National Wildlife refuge to oil and gas drilling, the relationship with the Gwich'in Nation is friendly.

Tara Sweeney told The Boston Globe she respects the Gwich'in culture, even if she disagrees that drilling won't harm the caribou upon which the Gwich'in depend. After months of delays by the Democratic leadership, that issue will be among several raised when the Senate this week beings debating an energy bill.

The legislation doesn't include provisions to allow drilling. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D) and Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) say their proposal puts more emphasis on conservation rather than production.

The House passed its own version of an energy policy that allows drilling in ANWR.

Get the Story:
Two tribes split on Alaskan oil plan (The Boston Globe 2/25)
Senate turns to energy, ANWR (AP 2/25)
Rival Energy Plans Face Senate Debate (The Washington Post 2/24)

Relevant Links:
Gwich'in Steering Committee -
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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