Environmentalists Hijack Fairbanks Hearing – Help Needed

Environmentalists Hijack Fairbanks Hearing – Help Needed

February 6, 2019

As we noted last week, the Department of the Interior is holding a series of Environmental Impact meetings to discuss needed energy projects in Alaska. We told you that extreme environmental groups were marshaling their supporters to disrupt and to try to overturn President Trump’s decision to open a small section of ANWR to oil and gas leasing and development.

Unfortunately, we were right.

The Department of the Interior had set up the meetings so that people could individually, without the pressure of speaking in front of a room, give their input one-on-one.

This was a change from ‘standard’ public hearings, where everyone hears from the same people at the same time, which tends to make the meeting a bully pulpit for groups who arrive early, take up the allotted testimony slots, and then shout down dissenters who dare speak against the “truth” as the bullies see it.

It seems the Northern Alaska Environmental Center, “Defend the Sacred” and other environmental groups were not interested in following the new and improved rules.

Between 1 PM and 5 PM, hundreds of Fairbanks-area residents came, educated themselves to the extent they wished to, put themselves on record, then left.  According to people who were there, it was calm, respectful and smooth.

At 5 PM, a large group consisting mostly of the above-mentioned groups gathered and hijacked the public meeting, demanding that their leaders be given the microphone and allowed to speak to the group, shouting down Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management employees, disrupting the meeting.  You can see an hour-long video showing the “takeover” here.

Power The Future is fully in favor of civil discussion.  We appreciate the right to speak our mind freely and without fear of government hostility.  What we don’t appreciate is any group thinking that the well-defined rules don’t apply to them.

Hearings continue this week in villages across Alaska, culminating with a hearing in Anchorage on Monday, February 11th from 1-7 PM at the Dena’ina Center.  We expect a large environmental extremist presence from 4 PM on, and encourage as many supporters of responsible resource development to show up to counter the extremists’ positions.  By doing so, you will let the Department of the Interior know that the proper course of action is to allow development under tight conditions in the 1002 area of ANWR.  For further information, please contact our Alaska State Director, Rick Whitbeck at rwhitbeck@powerthefuture.com.