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April 19, 2014

Walking With the Ghosts of Exxon

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It’s 5 a.m. on the 4th of July, and the alarm goes off. I open one eye and think surely I must have set it for the wrong time, but then I remember. Today I’m heading to Prince William Sound with Shannyn Moore and Zach Roberts. Our goal is to document the lingering effects of oil, still present in the Sound after the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in the spring of 1989. It’s 2010, and a child born then would be 21 years old now. It’s hard to believe. I was not in Alaska back then. I,…

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Exxon Valdez – Lessons Learned & Lost

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill 15 Years Later

In recognition of today’s 25-year anniversary of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska (March 24), this seems a good time to reflect on lessons learned, and lessons lost. 1. Oil spill “cleanup” is a myth: Once oil has spilled, the battle is lost — it is impossible to effectively contain, recover, and cleanup. Exxon spent more than $2 billion trying to clean up its Alaska spill, but recovered less than 7 percent. BP spent $14 billiontrying to clean up its 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, and although they collected some at the wellhead, burned and dispersed some (with toxic chemicals), it recovered only 3 percent from the sea…

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Day of Resistance

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(This is Part one of our Day of Resistance coverage. You can read Part Two here.) The date 2/23 was originally chosen for “Day of Resistance” rallies across the US because the .223 is the ammunition used in the popular AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Alaska organized events in both Fairbanks and Wasilla this year, protesting the federal government’s attempts to regulate firearms and showing support for the 2nd Amendment. The Fairbanks rally at Veterans Memorial Park was organized by The Oath Keepers, a pro-second amendment group made up mostly of veterans and headed up by David Luntz and Donny Meeks. Luntz maintained a Facebook page promoting the…

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Shell Suspends Arctic Drilling, Begich Responds.

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This morning Shell announced that it will not drill offshore in the Alaskan Arctic this year. The announcement comes after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal agency in charge of issuing permits for offshore drilling in the U.S. intentionally downplayed the risks and impacts associated with drilling in the remote and vulnerable Chukchi Sea ecosystem off the northern coast of Alaska. The court ruled that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) failed to conduct adequate impact assessments before issuing permission to drill. According to the findings of the court, the BOEM “based its decision on inadequate…

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Brinkley Urges Obama to Stop Pebble Mine

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Presidential historian and author Douglas Brinkley urged President Obama to take decisive and swift executive action on preventing the massive Pebble Mine project in Alaska on NOW with Alex Wagner, Monday. Brinkley noted that many decisive presidential actions could be taken immediately as the Obama Whitehouse seeks to establish a legacy as the President’s second term marches on with Republicans in Congress showing no signs of letting up on blocking legislation. Historically, President Obama has issued fewer executive orders than any President since Grover Cleveland, and has been comparatively reluctant to exert Presidential authority. Brinkley was clear in his suggestion to the President…

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Parnell, Murkowski & West Virginia

AP photo by Michael Switzer

Pop Moore was born and raised in West Virginia. I’m proud of our family heritage in a state that includes the original Rednecks in the Battle for Blair Mountain. That’s where my grandfather fought to unionize the coal mines after getting buried in a slide. When I was growing up, we’d go visit my grandmother in a tiny town in Boone County. It was humid and friendly. Tomatoes from the garden tasted delicious, and the people talked funny. The center of town was the yellow line that ran through it. I loved sitting on the porch swing listening to stories….

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Good Tidings & Great Pain – A Palin Xmas, Ch. 1

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Good tidings. Great joy! And the miracle of a baby’s birth. Not just a regular baby – the Prince of Peace, the Lamb of God. A baby who would grow into a man who communed with the poor, the outcasts, the wretched, the lost souls. A man who would save them, and heal them, and love them. A giver of second chances, and hope. A bringer of love, compassion, salvation and forgiveness. That’s what Sarah Palin’s book is all about, she says in the Introduction. “Good Tidings and Great Joy – Saving the Heart of Christmas.” It’s not about trivial…

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Melting Good; Feds Bad

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So, insane flesh-eating bacteria is tied to BP spill tar balls, Fukushima radiation should be hitting the West Coast in the next year or so, and a SuperTyphoon that is perhaps the strongest storm EVER,  just made landfall in the Philippines. So, last night I decided to go out and listen to a Republican Senate candidate bloviate about how federal overreach is destroying the country. SPOILER ALERT: This ends with drinking. Mead Treadwell, Alaska’s Lt. Governor, who in that capacity oversees elections, is running for U.S. Senate. Any time a Lt. Governor runs for something in the state (like Current…

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Parnell Tells Jewell, “Call my people.”

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Alaska Governor Sean Parnell has earned himself a reputation for not being very assertive, a bit of a pushover if you will. Typically, this criticism comes from the governor’s own party. Even Alaska’s lone Congressman has referred to him as a “zero” on more than one occasion. That, coupled with the fact that it is totally en vogue to bash every facet of the federal government, might explain Governor Parnell’s latest bout of nastygrams sent to federal agencies. Last week, the day prior to the end of the federal government shutdown, Governor Parnell sent Interior Secretary Sally Jewell a letter. The…

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Torches and Pitchforks for Parnell

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There are certain times when a government crosses a line, and there’s really no other way to adequately express one’s feelings about it than by deploying torches and pitchforks. The glinting of the tines in the firelight, the surging of the crowd, the bellowing of moral outrage… Ahhh. There’s really nothing like it to get the ol’ blood pumping. Well, I guess there is another way, but I’m reasonably sure it’s illegal, and though it might be satisfying the irony of retaliating against a bully by tarring and feathering him could not be overlooked, and might garner said bully some…

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