Many media outlets omitted key facts about the BLM scoping meeting in Fairbanks last night for their notice of intent to prepare an EIS for opening ANWR.
The Fairbanks Daily News Miner (FDNM) headline “Locals speak out against ANWR drilling” is the most misleading description we found, so far. (The newspaper only covered the public portion, avoiding the presented and invited testimony that was balanced)
What the FDNM and other outlets failed to tell you?
- Doors opened at 3:00pm for an open house and to hand out comment cards
- Opponents to the lease sale arrived early by bus, took 50 comment cards, left, and returned at 6:30pm for the public comment period
- Only one person who supported ANWR could testify (#51) since the first 50 comment cards had been taken by opponents and time ran out
- The invited testimony was very balanced with the Mayor of Wainright and three different labor unions – Teamsters, Laborers, IBEW- testifying in support
So now you know the rest of the story. Here is a different perspective from someone who attended the entire meeting:
“As a life-long Alaskan raised in Fairbanks, I flew up to the “Golden Heart City” to present personal testimony supporting proposed lease sales on the coastal plain of ANWR. The hearing was painful and did not represent the view of many Alaskans. Hundreds attended the packed hearing at the Carlson Center and we were outnumbered 50-1 in testimony. I arrived 20 minutes after the doors opened at 3:00 p.m., more than three hours before public testimony was to begin. I signed up to testify, but learned I was number 52 on the list of those wishing to speak. Unfortunately, I did not get an opportunity to testify as time ran out.
It’s Anchorage’s turn tonight, expect more of the same: a coordinated effort by opponents to get there early while others are at work, take enough comment cards to prevent others from testifying and media coverage that focuses on the opposition while ignoring the supporters.