Has Commentary Gone Crazy?
Has Commentary Gone Crazy?
Yesterday, after we sent out this email alert, an elected official said, "I've commented to these d___ federal agencies six times on the need to have Chukchi and Beaufort Sea OCS and ANWR exploration. Now you're asking me to do it again on the 'final' version of a 'Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement' for Chukchi and on the USFWS effort to convert ANWR's 1002 oil and gas section into wilderness. How many times to I have to comment?" he asked.
"As many times as we have to," is the answer. We've warned readers over the years that the federal Administration's overreaching jurisdiction (in cahoots with environmental extremists) uses the regulatory process to stifle development. We've labeled this group the "Governmental-Enviroextremist Cabal" after giving readers plenty of evidence to support the label. We've demonstrated the deadly nature of this regulatory 'death by a thousand cuts' and the 'cumulative burden' it creates on free enterprise and on our very way of life.
Another reader wrote yesterday along the same lines. Reed Christensen (NGP Photo) of Dowland-Bach, subsidiary of an Alaska Native Regional Corporation said, The very fact that the public needs to comment yet again in opposition of the wilderness designation of the 1002 area of the ANWR Coastal Plain, shows the insincerity of the environmental activists with whom the “compromise” was reached during the ANILCA process. Then people wonder why there is such gridlock in Washington? How can common ground be found with opponents who do not honor their prior promises? This area was set aside for future resource development then and is now being considered for permanent wilderness lock up now? Exploration and development should be allowed and encouraged in this designated area. We need the jobs. We need the supply of domestic energy. Responsible development can and does occur all the time. This area can be developed with minimal impact to the environment. Responsible resource development and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive terms although honest debate and environmentalist seem to be mutually exclusive concepts.
We now note an effort by a United States Senator to preempt the rule of law and the regulatory process to outlaw an Alaskan development project she does not like. This takes the 'Governmental-Enviroextremist Cabal' to a new level of thwarting the regulatory process when one feels it cannot be manipulated. -dh
From our friends at the American Energy Alliance comes this commentary:
What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine - Cantwell, the anti-ANWR warrior, is meddling in Alaska's affairs (and our economic and security interests) yet again Washington Post(9/12/11) reports: In a high-stakes battle that pits gold and copper against fish, members of Congress are scrapping over a plan to build one of the world’s largest open-pit mines in southwest Alaska… (Note CEA clips below.)
Thankfully, at least one other U.S. Senator is vigilant about this flagrant attempt to shortcut the rule of law. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo) said, "Attempts to prejudge development in the Bristol Bay area before a permit application has even been submitted would make a mockery out of the federal environmental review process. A preemptive veto makes no more sense than a preemptive approval."
Northern Gas Pipelines (NGP) readers know that we have harped for a couple years now on the need for normal citizens and their leaders to insert their views into the legal records of public hearings and regulatory comment periods. Later in the day, yesterday, another elected official said, "Hey, we mean well. We passed resolutions supporting OCS and ANWR development. Maybe elected officials need educating. Maybe we need to know that just because we passed a resolution six months ago doesn't mean the particular record of decision on a particular issue considers our earlier action."
He was right. Elected officials and the rest of us need to understand the nature of a legal record. The Governor, Mayors, Legislators, Assembly Members carry a lot of weight in a legal record, since they represent the people of a state. If they don't send in a comment or testify on the federal issue du jour, regulators can say, "we didn't get any comment from Alaskan elected officials." Meanwhile, Alaskans are scratching their heads saying, "Gee whiz, we passed a resolution a year ago; what happened?" What happened is that no one took that resolution and sent it in with a comment on the current issue du jour and, as a result, the current record shows no public official opinion on the matter.
Alaskans and Americans in general better start realizing that special interests aligned with this administration have designed a strategy to wear down normal citizens. Congress is funding (maybe unwittingly) more and more federal agencies to build up bloated offices of "public outreach". Outreach efforts include announcing comment periods on issues that constrict development and supporting that effort with a dazzling array of public hearings, meetings and so-called 'listening sessions'. Environmental groups use these as opportunities to raise money from people who honestly want to 'save the whales and the world they live in'. Full time environmental 'organizers' organize volunteers to encourage armies of well intended allies to send in public comments and testify at hearings. The normal Alaskan/American looks around and thinks, "I'm just trying to make a living. Everyone knows what we think. I can't spend two days a week writing comments for federal regulatory agencies and going to their "listening sessions", public hearings and other meetings.
CANADA: Enviroextremist and socialist assaults on free enterprise in general and energy, specifically, span borders--especially with international projects like the Keystone XL project (More below). Kelly Cryderman of the Calgary Herald notes: The divisions between original Progressive Conservatives and the next generation of Tory leaders was on full display Tuesday as former premier Peter Lougheed said he doesn’t agree with shipping refinery jobs down south — specifically through the Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S. It’s a policy stance supported by Alberta unions and opposition parties, but stands in stark contrast to the position of candidates in the race to replace departing Premier Ed Stelmach. “What Keystone gives us is an opportunity to continue to have a lot of strong economic development in the province,” candidate Alison Redford said Tuesday. “At this point in time, in terms of how our economy is structured, Keystone makes sense,” Redford said.
In the past, we trusted the rule of law and the basic honesty of public officials to do the best job they could to enact and regulate policies in the public interest.
We cannot trust those in charge of federal power today. We have seen them manipulate power in a way that will destroy Alaska's economy and thwart the entire American economic and job recovery. Whether this activist alliance produces stupid or devious policy is immaterial for the result is the same: the weakening of America and a shortchanged legacy for America's children.
Yes, we must go out of our way during the day and on date night to participate in governmental comment periods. If we commented or took a position a year ago, we need to do it again. If we don't participate, if we are too tired, if we give up ... well, the legal record of the federal 'public outreach' offices will bend in favor of activists who did take the time to participate and our way of life will take another hit. Never give up. Never, never. (See current comment periods below.)
(Below, we are pleased to note a state effort to evaluate how to improve local regulatory processes.)
The departments of Natural Resources, Fish and Game and Environmental Conservation are evaluating their permitting processes for efficiency improvements. “We welcome public input on how to make our permitting system more timely, efficient and predictable,” said DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan (NGP Photo). DNR will host public forums this fall to gather additional public input on the permitting review. The meeting schedule will be posted on this web page.
NPG Readers: Please Comment on OCS before September 26, 2011
Comment in support of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Chukchi Sea Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193, against further delay and 'affirming Lease Sale 193"
COMMENTS: Final SEIS, Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 193
c/o Regional Director, BOEMRE Alaska OCS Region
3801 Centerpoint Drive Ste. 500
Anchorage AK 99503-5820.
NPG Readers: Please Comment on EPA O&G Emissions Regs
Before October 24, 2011 send comments re: unnecessary natural gas emissions rules that will further slow down America's economy and employment without significant benefit. Federal Register notice with filing instructions
NPG Readers: Please Comment on ANWR. Here's how.
Testify: Fairbanks 10-19-11, Anchorage 10-20-11
Written testimony due: 11-15-11
(We are pleased to note House Joint Resolution 11 sponsored by by Charisse Millett (NGP Photo) in the House urging the Congress to not convert the 1002 area of ANWR to a status that prevents oil and gas development. NGP Readers can refer to this resolution in their own comments and rely on the information conveyed by Representative Millett's resolution. -dh)
|October 14 ends the comment period for the Wishbone Hill Coal Permit Renewal and we urge readers to file electronic comments early. Don't be technical if that's not your background; just say, "I support the Wishbone Hill Coal Permit Renewal". Here's the state webpage and here is a very good letter penned by Alaska State Senator Cathy Giessel (NGP Photo). We would be delighted to post other legislative and citizen comments on this and other comment period issues -- such as those coming up in the blocks above. Write us here. We urge citizens and public officials to take just a few minutes to influence a process that will determine what kind of economy our children will inherit. -dh|