The Latest News
May 23, 2016
The inability of the House to make responsible decisions condemns the State to further wasteful spending during the drawn out legislative session.
“As the newest member of Alaska’s Legislature, there have been a lot of things that have surprised me about our political process. One of the biggest surprises has been the disconnect between our fiscal situation and some of our spending decisions. This was made crystal clear for me on March 10, which was my first day in the Legislature, when we voted on the proposed budget.
The fiscal 2017 operating budget that passed the House included a cut of $283 million. Meanwhile, the House majority has rejected every attempt to claw back funding for megaprojects like the Ambler Road ($8.5 million), Juneau Access Road ($15.1 million), Bragaw Road Extension ($18.9 million), and the Knik Arm Bridge ($5 million). These four projects alone totaled $47.2 million, which could have funded items like the University of Alaska, completion of a school in Kivalina, and proven prekindergarten programs…”
Read the full article here: Alaska House majority keeps wasteful spending while shorting basic services
Alaska’s senior Senator Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, criticized the Interior Department for presumably promoting a meeting with Alaska Natives who are opposed to drilling in the Arctic, arguing that they do not represent the true opinions of most Alaskans.
“Murkowski, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, held a hearing Thursday on the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s latest draft five-year plan for offshore drilling lease sales from 2017 to 2022…”
The Point Lay Tribal Council traveled 4,000 miles to Washington to urge the Obama administration to not broader oil lease sales in the Arctic .
“There “are many people in every village that aren’t being heard because they’re out there living their way of life,” said Lloyd Pikok, vice president of the Point Lay Tribal Council. “We aren’t a minority, we just aren’t being heard.”
The village council has passed a resolution urging the Interior Department to cancel all lease sales in the Arctic, citing the threats of climate change and other environmental hazards of drilling on their subsistence lifestyle.”
Read the full article here: Murkowski slams attention given to anti-Arctic drilling activist
If you are downstream of mining activity, your voice should count. Pollution does not stop at lines on a map.
“Rep. Don Young and Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan sent a letter to Kerry May 12 requesting the State Department to question Canadian officials about the impact active and proposed hard rock mines in British Columbia and the Yukon could have on salmon in several large “transboundary” rivers…”
“Yet, today, that confidence does not exist. Proposed mining development in the Stikine, Taku River, and Unuk watersheds has raised concerns among commercial and recreational fishermen, tourism interests, and Alaska Native communities regarding water quality maintenance of the transboundary rivers that flow by their homes and onto their fishing grounds…”
Read the full article here: Delegation asks Kerry for transboundary review