VITAMIN DEMOCRACY! Alaska’s Salmon Need You!
SB29 and HB80 are the governor’s sweetheart deal to cruise ship industry. You may remember we Alaskans, through a ballot initiative, raised standards on cruise ship water dumping and implemented a head tax several years ago. The governor rolled that back saying visitors to our great state were going to cross a cruise to Alaska off their bucket list because of a $50 head tax. Since the roll back, cruise companies have raised their prices 70% and people keep coming. Profits are up for the companies and many destination towns are locked out of revenue to pay for the infrastructure needed to accommodate the floating cities.
The bills, on fast track lower the water emission standards – including copper. Copper, at 3 parts per billion, destroys the natural Garmin system in salmon that allows them to find their way back to the river bed they were spawned in.
Today the House will take testimony at 1:30 and the Senate at 3:30 on these two bills.
The call in number for both hearings is 1-855-463-5009.
If you can’t make the hearing, please email your representative and senator and ask them to protect our salmon by voting no.
The governor has a new “opinion” line where you can leave a message. (Keep it clean, people.) That number is 907-465-3982.
Here is some great info on the bill from APRN if you’d like to read more.
Oh, and who are we dealing with here? Felons.
Celebrity Cruises is owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. A criminal case brought by the US Department of Justice, Royal Caribbean pled guilty to 21 felonies, six of which were for illegal discharge of PERC into several US ports. The other felonies concerned routine illegal dumping of oil and the falsification of documents to cover it up. RCCL was fined $27 million and lost permits in Glacier Bay.
- In April, Carnival Corp. pleaded guilty to falsifying records to cover up oil pollution by six ships over several years. It paid an $18 million fine, and the company is on probation. A new violation could prompt new criminal charges.
- In late September, a fired Carnival Cruise Lines executive filed a whistle-blower lawsuit alleging a host of environmental and safety violations, including toxic-chemical dumping, on ships sailed by Carnival, Holland America, Cunard and Costa to many ports around the USA. Carnival Corp. owns all those lines. The allegations have not been proved, and Carnival Corp. has not commented on them.
- On Oct. 15, Carnival Corp. disclosed in a government filing that officers from one of its Holland America ships have been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in Alaska investigating a spill of wastewater in Juneau Bay in August. The Coast Guard in Alaska estimates 40,000 gallons went overboard.
- After a judge ruled the government did have jurisdiction, Royal Caribbean pleaded guilty to 30 criminal charges in Miami, New York, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, the Virgin Islands and Alaska. It paid $27 million in fines in 1998 and ’99. The line has since implemented a companywide environmental compliance program.
- When subpoenas arrived at Carnival Corp. a year later, the corporate response was far different. Carnival didn’t question jurisdiction and instead handed over 1,200 boxes of records and began negotiating a deal. In April, the company pleaded guilty in Miami, agreed to set up a compliance program and paid an $18 million fine.
- Just three months later, Justice announced Norwegian’s guilty plea and $1 million fine. The government’s press release said Norwegian, a Bermuda corporation, had turned itself in and lauded the company’s “corporate citizenship.” In its own announcement, Norwegian said only that it had “discovered reporting irregularities” and “immediately reported these problems to the government.”