Celebration and sorrow over tax reform, which includes ANWR drilling
A lot of lawmakers celebrated in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, with the United State's House and Senate passing tax reform.
Alaska's Congressional delegation stood next to President Donald Trump and touted how drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will help Alaskans.
Developing our energy is good for jobs. It's good for energy security. It's good for manufacturing. It's good for the environment because we have the highest standards in the world," said Senator Dan Sullivan.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, who authored the legislation that opens a portion of the non-wilderness 1002 area of ANWR for drilling, said the move will help put more oil through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System with the potential of $60 billion in royalties for Alaska alone.
"Know that our promise to you today is a bright future. One where we care for our environment, where we care for our people," said Senator Murkowski.
But there is opposition here at home.
"I refuse to accept this vote," said Bernadette Demientieff, executive director of the Gwich'in Steering Committee.
The group has been fighting potential oil drilling in ANWR. She says they're worried about the Porcupine Caribou herd and the Gwich'in way of life if drilling happens.
"We don't feel respected in our own homeland. Everything we've ever known right now is at threat," she said Wednesday.
Demientieff says the group will get ready to defend its homeland, saying the passage of the tax reform measure is just the beginning.
"We will not give up. We will not back down," she said.
The bill now goes to President Trump to sign into law.
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