Leftwing activists are constantly talking about how oil development in the Arctic will destroy the environment as well as the lives of the native tribes who reside there. That's why it might come as a surprise to progressives that on Thursday, Kaktovik village tribal administrator Matthew Rexford went before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to ask them to allow oil development plans to go forward for the sake of his tribe's future.
Rexford shot down the left's ideal plan of turning his tribal lands into a national park.
“We do not approve of efforts to turn our homeland into one giant national park, which literally guarantees us a fate with no economy, no jobs, reduced subsistence and no hope for the future of our people,” Rexford said. “We are already being impacted by restrictions of access to the federal lands for subsistence purposes – this is really disturbing to us since we have lived here long before there ever was a refuge designated.”
“Attempts to permanently block development in the 1002 – an area intentionally not designated as wilderness because of its oil and gas potential – is a slap in the face to our region and its people,” Rexford said, referring to the land he resides on. “It’s exactly the same as saying, ‘it’s okay for everyone else in this country to have a thriving economy, but you can’t have one at all.'”
Leftists love to idealize native communities and see them as people who want their tribal lands to stay completely untouched. However, the reality is that members of the Native American community are living in the 21st century just like the rest of us are, and they want jobs and a thriving economy, just as most people do. As Rexford said, making his tribe's land a national park won't do the people who reside there any good, as that won't create nearly as many jobs as the oil industry can provide.
Before progressives fight back against oil drilling for the sake of the communities they claim to champion, they might want to do some research on how individual tribes really feel about oil development. In order to survive in the modern world, the Native American community needs jobs far more than they need to virtue signal about saving the environment. If the left really cares about the future of these communities, they will allow oil drilling in the arctic to move forward.
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