Moving oil is a risky business, especially across Cook Inlet’s notoriously rough waters. But who assumes the risk? And if it’s Alaskans who depend on healthy fisheries who bear the risk, how much risk are we willing to accept?
The Pebble Partnership has grabbed headlines recently by attacking an EPA scientist and claiming EPA somehow violated federal law by communicating with Alaskans.
wenty years ago, a group of concerned Alaskans decided enough was enough. They were fed-up with toxic pollution in Cook Inlet, so they brought Clean Water Act claims against the oil and gas corporations for more than 4,200 illegal dumping violations. And they won.
Then, they formed Cook Inletkeeper as part of the settlement. Today, Inletkeeper celebrates our 20th anniversary, and we’re proud and humbled by the countless members and supporters who have made our work possible.
An obscure and controversial trade bill negotiated by the Obama Administration and pending in Congress poses a direct threat to our democracy and to Alaska’s sovereignty.
Unfortunately, our two senators — Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan — recently voted to “fast track” the Trans- Pacific Partnership (TPP) before anyone knows what’s in it.
A recent study out of Princeton University found we no longer live in a democracy. According to the authors, “[t]he central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.” And an important component of this transformation is the rising incidence of secrecy.
In Alaska, and more recently, in Homer, we frequently here the mantra we’re “open for business.” The intent of course is to present a business-friendly face to potential investors so our community can reap the promised benefits of jobs and contracts such businesses might bring.
But “open for business” has to mean something more than simply open to any business, because if not, we’ll attract corporations to Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay with low standards and a profit-at-any-cost mentality. And local residents ultimately will bear the cost.
orris Communications is the Georgia-based media group that owns the Peninsula Clarion, Homer News, Juneau Empire, Alaska Journal of Commerce and numerous other media holdings in Alaska. In November, company chairman William Morris III announced a special 10-part series to help Alaskans “find the facts” about declining king salmon runs.
I like Chris Story. He’s funny, he raises his family here, and he drives dollars into our local economy. But I like him for another reason: He has the passion of his convictions to not only speak his mind, but also to act on it. I wish there were more like him in our community.
There’s been a loud, angry and often uninformed debate over salmon habitat protection in the Kenai Peninsula Borough for the past couple years, and if we hope to protect our fisheries in the coming years, it’s important to understand some basic issues.
Recent challenges to the new railroad to Port MacKenzie in Knik Arm have prompted calls to punish the public interest groups who challenged this short-sighted project. As the chief advocate for one of those groups, I think citizens should be rewarded for trying to save Alaskan tax dollars while protecting our dwindling salmon populations in Upper Cook Inlet.
Anyone coming over Baycrest Hill these days encounters a stark new addition to the Kachemak Bay skyline: Buccaneer Oil's jack-up drilling rig "Endeavour."
For some, the image harkens back to the days of Jay Hammond and the fight to put fish and the families they support before heavy industry.
For others, the rig looks like jobs and money.
Each side, of course, is right. The question then becomes what type of economic development do we want for Kachemak Bay?