Consultants Debunk Myth that Arctic Refuge Residents Need Drilling for Survival

Kaktovik, Alaska, September 7, 2005 – Fiscally conservative Americans continue to speak out against energy policy focused on “drilling to the last drop.” As the debate regarding the future of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge comes to a head this September, the Treasure America Project (TAP), a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting sound economic policy in the United States, has released findings that drilling in the Refuge neither addresses rapidly increasing oil prices nor benefits native Alaskan communities. The TAP work discredits industry lobbyist claims that oil drilling is essential to the long-term survival of native communities.

TAP business consultants traveled to the Arctic Circle this summer in response to the 51-49 senate vote last March which allowed a line item in the federal budget bill that could open the Refuge to future oil drilling. The two deciding votes were Hawaii Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka who argued that allowing drilling in the Refuge was in the best interest of native Alaskans in the region. TAP business consultants went to Kaktovik, Alaska, the small native community located closest to the threatened lands of Refuge, to analyze the local economy. The team found that new local entrepreneurship, not oil industry subsidies, was the most effective means to ensure ongoing prosperity in the community.

“Patriotic Americans understand that improved vehicle efficiency will put money into the pockets of average Americans while drilling in the Arctic Refuge will put money into the pockets of the oil industry,” says Andrew Smith, Executive Director of TAP and international economic development consultant. “Drilling in the Refuge further weds native communities and the US government to the whims of the oil industry.”

The Treasure America Project is an initiative of Natural Capitalism Solutions (NCS), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization promoting innovation, sustainability and economic prosperity world wide. Since the spring of 2005, the Project has worked to address key obstacles to reducing US dependence on oil. The Project team draws on decades of professional experience promoting competitive enterprise development in rural communities in the United States, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia.


For interviews with project leaders or more information on the Treasure America organization please contact Emily Leary, Program Manager at [email protected] or by phone at 303-941-2795.

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Helping communities over-dependent on oil: Kaktovik, Alaska

During the summer of 2005 the Treasure America Project went to the village of Kaktovik, Alaska to analyze the economic consequences of oil industry dependence and opportunities to promote increased local entrepreneurship.
Invitation for Citizens of Kaktovik.
Seminar Flyer [PDF].
Trip report [DOC].
Website for local guides.

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