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February 26, 2018

GOP Senators vs. Polar Bears

In case you missed it today, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the capital of our fair Republic (Washington DC, not Juneau) upheld the 2008 decision of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to include polar bears on the list of threatened species. Because they are. But like another Wasilla Republican we know, Senate President Charlie Huggins finds himself disappointed with the facts. “The federal appeals court decision is incredibly disappointing,” he sniffed. “America could be on its way to energy independence if only the federal government would free us to develop our vast natural resources. Federal overreach is…

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Good News for Chuitna Salmon

I present to you, in the middle of chaos and frustration… (drum roll please)… a small victory! In a decision issued February 25, 2013, the Alaska Superior Court ruled that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) violated its own rules by denying Alaskans’ their right to keep water in streams to protect wild salmon runs. The decision in Chuitna Citizens Coalition vs. Dan Sullivan, Commissioner, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, takes on special importance as the Alaska legislature considers bills introduced by Governor Parnell (HB 77/SB 26) which will strip Alaskans of their right to protect “instream flows,” which are…

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Former First Lady Smacks Down Gov’s Oil Tax Plan

Today former Governor Jay Hammond’s widow Bella and his daughter Heidi Hammond have called for a TV ad from a group calling themselves “Resource Full Alaska” exploiting Jay Hammond to be stopped immediately. The ad has the brass cojones to compare Jay Hammond, arguably Alaska’s most popular former governor, to its current oil shill CEO Sean Parnell. The ad calls on the legislature to pass Parnell’s oil tax plan which would drain the state’s coffers to the tune of $2 billion a year. “I was never consulted about this television ad,” said the former First Lady. “Jay Hammond never would…

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Sunday Pizza & Petroleum

By Rep. Les Gara This Sunday from Noon until 2:00, Senator Ellis and I will be in Anchorage if you’d like to hear a legislative update, and share your thoughts and concerns. Or you can pretend that’s why you’re coming, bring your kids, and eat free pizza. We’d be honored if you came for any of the above reasons, and be honored to feed your kids and grandkids. Here is the low cost – like free – video invite Johnny and I put together. It’s amazing. No, it’s actually just OK. But we’re almost proud of it. Please share it…

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‘Crock of Shit Gate’ Latest Developments

The legislature is in full swing, things are heating up in Juneau, and the emails are flying. But one recent email in particular has painted the office of boorish lout, Speaker of the House Mike Chenault, in a particularly boorish, loutish, light. Go figure. Picture if you will, the lovely and hard-working Sheri Pierce, City Clerk for Valdez ,Alaska, sitting in her office one morning. She’s clerking away for her fine city, fires up the computer, takes a sip of coffee, and sees something in the in-box. Look, it’s an email from Rep. Mike Chenault! She clicks on the email,…

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Gov Kills Palin’s Climate Change Sub-Cabinet

Here’s another reason why Sarah Palin was a better governor than Sean Parnell. (SPOILER ALERT: He killed an entire sub-cabinet, and never bothered to tell the public) Remember that special group Palin created to address the warming of Alaska due to climate change, and the threats this poses to Alaska’s coastal communities? It’s easy to forget, but it was 2007 when the Palin administration created that group, after she expressed her concern over the unwelcome changes that global warming was bringing to the state. They even had an “Immediate Action Plan” for the most at-risk from sea level rise, loss…

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Pebble Has Rocks in Head

Behold the latest gripe from the Pebble Partnership about the oh-so-restrictive permitting process required to put the largest open pit copper and gold mine on the planet at the headwaters of the planet’s largest wild salmon fishery. The project requires permits for lots of things. It pays to be assured someone knows what they’re doing when they have to build 700 foot tall earthen dams that will last forever in a highly active seismic zone, holding back giant lakes of poison from a thriving fishery. You know, stuff like that. Check out the latest. We know they’d like to compare…

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The Silent Oil Coup

A silent coup has occurred in Alaska. “More foxes in the henhouse than chickens,” as someone said. The oil tax giveaway proposed by former Conoco Phillips lobbyist and Exxon attorney Sean Parnell has been referred to the TAPS Throughput Committee chaired by Conoco Phillips employee Sen. Peter Micciche, in front of Senate Resources co-chair Cathy Giessel, whose husband’s job relies on the oil industry, and later to the uber-powerful Senate Finance Committee co-chaired by Conoco Phillips employee Kevin Meyer. The grease already on the wheels of this faulty legislation could fill a pipeline. I know, you’re thinking surely the employee…

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Fox, Vice Chair of Henhouse, “No worries!”

State Senator Peter Micciche (R), an employee of ConocoPhillips*, says that while there will be billion dollar decisions made about oil and gas issues in the legislature this session, there is no conflict of interest with his seat on the Resources Committee, nor as vice chairman of the the special committee taking the first look at the governor’s oil-tax bill. You know, the one where the governor wants to give almost $2 billion a year to the oil companies, screwing smaller independent oil producers and favoring the “Big Three” – BP, Exxon and ConocoPhillips?* *Hmmm. In his own persuasive argument, the…

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Let’s Play Decode that BS!

Oh, look! Governor Parnell has just tweeted, boys and girls! You know what that means, right? That’s right. Everyone playing along, get out your super duper Captain Zero decoder rings! Ready? OK. Now, remember Captain Zero is talking about how much money the oil companies should be able to get from our piggy bank in exchange for our oil.   Let’s see what we get when we decode the tweet… Democratic legislators think Alaskans deserve wine and flowers. (spins ring) The Alaska Oil and Gas Association thinks you should get water boarded. (spins ring again) That lends credibility to the…

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