Alaskans Welcome Salazar But The Jury Is Still Out On the Federal Landlord's Motives
Edmonton Journal: Enbridge, announcing increased profits over the past three months, is also expanding its plans to move oil to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Comment on Secretary Ken Salazar's Latest Alaska Visit
Today, the Associated Press' Becky Bohrer in the Seattle Times noted...
... that, "The Obama administration is interested in seeing more oil and gas development in Alaska, both onshore and off, but it wants to make sure that any drilling is done responsibly, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (NGP Photo) said Monday."
In virtually all of his speeches, testimony to Congress, and media conferences, Salazar has proclaimed his understanding of Alaska's natural resources potential and President Barack Obama's similar understanding. In virtually all of the Administration's actions, the Federal power exercised here has voilated Alaska's reasonable expectations under the Statehood Compact. Virtually every major Federal action in Alaska under the Obama-Salazar-environmental oligarchy has been damaging to Alaska's economy and people and to the people and economy of the United States.
ADN. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is bringing together the state attorney general and the superintendent of the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve following the controversy over how the National Park Service has enforced boating regulations in the preserve. ... Congressman Don Young asserts "the Park Service in Alaska has become, very frankly, like, I would say, an occupied army of a free territory." He maintains the Yukon River is state water and that the Park Service has no business enforcing its rules there.
ADN. Salazar and Obama Support Alaska Drilling, Conditionally.
Our stories detailing economic death by a thousand cuts and the cumulative effect of federal overreach.
Times-Tribune by Laura Legere (Alaska is not alone in its struggle against federal overreach). In a recent letter sent to landowners in the Northern Tier, Chesapeake's vice president for government relations, David J. Spigelmyer, called the updated requirements enacted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on July 1 "unnecessary, time consuming and redundant." New permitting requirements affecting natural gas pipelines in Pennsylvania have raised the ire of Chesapeake Energy, which is encouraging natural gas leaseholders to join it in protesting the rules.
ADN Editorial: "Interior chief has a good sense of what Alaska provides."
Last week, Salazar's administration gave conditional approval for Shell Oil's Exploration Plan for next year's planned Arctic Ocean exploration activity--after several years of taking arbitrary and capricious steps to block or delay it and other Alaskan development. Still, the permit could be denied after environmental activists finish commenting on the conditional approval...or initiate lawsuits blocking it. Furthermore, Salazar can talk positively out of one side of his mouth as he has done for nearly three years, but then we can imagine him saying later this year, "Well, we recognize Alaska's importance and Shell's determination to drill, but it has to be done right. The EPA still has air quality concerns. My agency has genuine concerns about the effect of exploration and global warming on survival of the polar bear, and, besides, the environmental groups have filed lawsuits against our issuance of permits that must be fully adjudicated."
This week Senator Mark Begich hosted a private gathering for Salazar to meet with a number of Alaskans--and from what we hear of that meeting, Alaskans spoke loudly and clearly about the need for developing resources that could sustain the life of the Trans Alaska Pipeline and support recovery of America's economy in the bargain.
We realize that our Congressional Delegation, Governor and oil industry are doing their best to be polite to Alaska's big, federal landlord, but the time is coming when folks will have to begin telling the federal bully to back off--or accept responsibility for killing Alaska's economy and depriving the state of an ability to remain a properly functioning state.
Salazar was accompanied -- as he was during the trip last fall -- by his Deputy Secretary, David Hayes (NGP Photo).