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Obama's Alaska Trip Prompts Arctic Drilling Protest

August 31, 2015

People protesting oil drilling in the Arctic marched through downtown Portland Monday, and held a “die-in.” They are trying to send President Obama a message as he travels to Alaska this week.

Several dozen protesters carried placards, chanted and made their way to the federal building downtown, where some lay down for a “die-in.”

They said drilling in the Arctic will wreak havoc on the fragile ecosystem, and could bring the world closer to the two-degree Celsius temperature increase scientists are warning about.

Penny Dex was dressed in white coveralls and a polar bear mask. She called the president a hypocrite.

“Obama has signed the permits for Shell to go ahead and drill, even though he’s trying to say that he’s a leader on climate change. And that’s not right,” said Dex.

The Obama administration issued a final permit last month for Shell to drill in the Arctic Ocean.

During his visit to Alaska, the president is expected to call for urgent and aggressive action to tackle climate change.

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Penny Dex dresses as a polar bear to protest oil and gas drilling in the Arctic.

Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB News

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