Protesters Speak Out Against ANWR Drilling At D.C. Rally

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A message to Congress.

Bernadette Dementieff >> "Our identity is at stake."

It was an Arctic Refuge Day of Action outside the Capitol Wednesday. Bernadette Dementieff says her Gwich'in tribe's culture, and lives, are on the line, with the Congressional proposal to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Passed as part of the Senate Budget Resolution, Dementieff says if this comes to fruition her people will suffer.

Bernadette Dementieff; Es. Dir., Gwich'in Steering Committee >> "We're going to be standing up and we're going to be giving them one heck of a fight, because we cannot just let this happen."

Adam Kolton is the executive director of Alaska Wilderness League. He says this proposal from Capitol Hill is an effort to hide dangerous action in a massive budget.

Adam Kolton; Exec. Dir., Alaska Wilderness League >> "This isn't the way we normally do things. If we were going to dam the Grand Canyon for hydroelectric power, we wouldn't jam it in a budget tax bill."

Alaska's senators recently took to the Senate floor to make the case for drilling in ANWR. They say Alaskans knows how drill safely and effectively... and new revenue is greatly needed.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski; (R) Alaska >> "We have opportunities within the energy sector to help advance this country when it comes to our energy security, our national security and our economic security."

Senator Lisa Murkowski says they can do this with the utmost care for wildlife that live in ANWR, like polar bears and caribou. Her colleague, Senator Dan Sullivan says *everyone should be on board with safe drilling that creates jobs and brings in funds.

Sen. Dan Sullivan; (R) Alaska >> "What could be wrong with more energy production? Particularly in a state like mine where the standards are the highest in the world and the technology is the most advanced in the world."

The House is expected to take up the Senate budget resolution on Thursday - despite the backdrop of protests here in the capital.