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February 26, 2018

Shell Suspends Arctic Drilling, Begich Responds.

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

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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TPP 101 in Less than 4 Minutes. Go.

You’ve likely heard about the “TPP” in the news lately. You know it has 3 letters. You may even know that they stand for Trans Pacific Partnership. You may know that it’s considered a bad thing by the left, the right, and everyone in between. You may know it has something to do with trade… aaaand you may have gotten overwhelmed. Or you may be frustrated that other fairly engaged people seem not to know what it’s all about and why it matters. Here’s a great primer that takes less than four minutes, featuring Amy Goodman from Democracy Now interviewing…

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Melting Good; Feds Bad

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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BREAKING: Conoco Rakes in Your Money

ConocoPhillips makes a lot of money. This seems like an obvious statement, but its one that Governor Sean Parnell, and his oily ilk in the Alaska legislature are hoping you and everyone you know will forget when it comes time to vote on the repeal of SB21. So they run around with their hair on fire yelling things like “Incentivize production!” and “It’s complicated!” and tell us that if we don’t start sobbing and throwing cash at the big 3 oil producers, and if we repeal SB21, well… they’re going to leave us for someone else like Libya or North…

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Torches and Pitchforks for Parnell

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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Parnell Gets Fish Slapped

When one grapples for a visual allegory of what happened to the Parnell administration this week, it’s hard to think of anything more appropriate than this: That’s Sean Parnell on the right, and the Anchorage Superior Court on the left. The Superior Court ruled that the constitutional rights of Alaskans have been violated by the current administration when Parnell & Co. refused to process a four-year-old application to reserve water in the Chuitna River watershed for wild salmon. “Today’s ruling is a victory for every Alaskan who wants to protect wild salmon and the Alaskan way of life,” said Ron…

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Sullivan Joins GOP Senate Cannibal Circus

Today, Dan Sullivan (R) announced his run for the U.S. Senate. This particular Mr. Sullivan has the misfortune to share his name with: 1) The weasly, morally bankrupt Mayor of Anchorage 2) The man who started the great Chicago fire of 1871, and let Mrs. O’Leary’s cow take the blame. He also holds the distinction of being the third candidate on the Republican side to be seeking the office currently held by Democrat Mark Begich. Sullivan and current Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell are expected to split the “sanity vote” (although that distinction is subjective), while former and current candidate Joe…

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Inconvenient Private Sector Jobs

Time to don your rain ponchos, because Republican heads are going to be exploding across the state. This is one of those times when philosophy and reality are on opposite sides, and the confused elephant brains of the majority of the GOP in Alaska are going to have to out themselves, or change sides. Ah, another inconvenient truth. ” Ready? Guess what industry is the largest private sector employer in the State of Alaska? Oil? <<<HOCKEY BUZZER NOISE>>> Mining? <<<REPEAT ABOVE>>> Nope, it’s fish. A recent report issued from the McDowell Group for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute reveals: The…

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Do Alaskans Like Fish More than Pot?

Me: Hey, Alaska! Alaska: WHAT? We’re busy fishing. Me: Just a couple quick questions… you can keep your line in the water. Alaska: Make it fast, the silvers are running. I don’t want to get distracted. Me: Would you rather have more money in the coffers of the state, or make sure you always have fish? Alaska: Fish. Me: Would you rather have people earning more money and boosting the economy, or make sure people can earn a living fishing. Alaska: Fishing. Me: Would you rather smoke pot, or salmon? Alaska: I can’t do both? Me: No. Alaska: OK, salmon….

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