Letter: Job opportunities outweigh concerns of drilling in Arctic

I would like to address Shell’s current expansion to drill in Chukchi Sea. I understand that there are a lot of different opinions. From what I’ve read, most are afraid of what damages it will have on local communities like Wainwright. 

Wouldn’t the greatest damage be if there wasn’t a community left? With unemployment rates 32 percent or higher and no other means of creating jobs, how can a community think that a company investing in them and training their locals for employment is damaging?

Emotions aside, Shell’s expansion will provide jobs and a new economic growth to a community that would otherwise not be able to sustain itself. Habitat and subsistence hunting would be the least of your worries if you had no oil to heat your house. 

— Matthew Verdugo

Anchorage