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June 15, 2021

Headlines:

Don Young’s Legal Fees. Follow the Money.

Don Young’s second ethics investigation rolls along. The FBI investigated Alaska’s lone congressman, but in 2010 it said it didn’t have enough evidence to convict him and turned the whole thing over to the House Ethics Committee.  They looked it all over, and decided to launch their own investigation in March of this year. He allegedly improperly accepted gifts, used campaign funds for personal use, and lied to federal officials. Say it ain’t so. So that means a whole host of new legal bills. Just this spring, Young forked over $60k from his legal defense fund to the DC law…

Shell’s Uninhabited Island Has A Story

By Kelsey Gobroski New Year’s Eve 2012, a Shell Oil drilling rig crashed off the shore of an uninhabited island near Kodiak. The landing site lit up on the media radar. The actual setting of the wreck was overshadowed by the fears, aspirations and politics surrounding the drilling rig. To peer into the background of these images, past the drilling rig and the news updates, “uninhabited” does not do the island justice — Sitkalidak Island has played its part in history. The island retired from public eye nearly 50 years ago, but has weathered every major boom and bust in…

Shell & Water Don’t Mix

Royal Dutch Shell’s Alaska operations could have used a dose of “local knowledge” to prevent their latest debacle: the grounding of the oil rig Kulluk. That phrase, “local knowledge,” should ring a bell for Shell. The company was the one of the largest contributors to a group opposing the restoration of Alaska’s Coastal Zone Management program. Why did Shell spend so much money to keep coastal Alaskans away from the table? Don’t they value the experience of local people along the Beaufort and Chukchi coasts? Oh, that’s right. When you’re drilling in their back yards, you only want silent partners….

Foreign Interests Attack Alaska’s Voice

  Here it comes. We knew it would happen. Because it always does. This time, the Alaska citizens’ initiative that’s in the cross-hairs of multinational corporations is the August 28th Ballot Prop #2, which would bring back Alaskans’ ability to have input into decisions made regarding management of our coastline. Local input. Kind of a no-brainer. Coastal Zone management worked fine for decades, but recently the Parnell administration and big moneyed interests let it go… Now, we have no say, even though we have more coastline than the rest of the nation combined. It’s all up to the feds. Makes no…

Arctic Drilling – You Just Gotta Believe…

There are those of you who have been worrying about Shell’s imminent offshore drilling plans in the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska. You remember the live video of the billowing plumes of oil spewing from the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. You remember watching the news from Alaska in 1989, as film of viscous black liquid that was supposed to be seawater slopped up on the shoreline in Prince William Sound. Countless seabirds, otters, and other wildlife suffered death by crude. Many humans also suffered ill effects to their health from a toxic bath of oil and hazardous…

EPA v. Polluters – Senators Begich & Murkowski on the Wrong Side

  Alaskans have a (how shall I put this) prickly relationship with the EPA for the most part. You can live most anywhere in the lower 48, and chances are you’ve never had to personally interact with the EPA and don’t know anyone who has. You live in your house, you do your thing, and the only time it comes up is when you hear the Tea Party talk about how all them damn regulations keep mucking things up and killing business and jobs. But in Alaska, the EPA and its involvement in development both big and small seems to…