alaska

In Throes of Keystone XL Controversy, Obama Admin OKs Alaska Offshore Drilling

With all eyes on the ongoing battle over whether or not the Obama Administration and the State Department will approve the disastrous Keystone XL pipeline, it was easy to lose another huge piece of news in the scuffle pertaining to the Obama White House. 

On October 3, the Obama Interior Department rubber stamped approval for offshore drilling in the Arctic off the northwest coast of Alaska in the Chibucki Sea. Reported the ​Wall Street Journal:

The Obama administration said Monday it was moving forward with oil-drilling leases off the coast of Alaska issued by the Bush administration in 2008, a victory for oil companies in the battle over Arctic Ocean drilling.

(Snip)

The Interior Department's decision is the latest example of the Obama administration siding with energy companies against environmentalists amid a weak economy. Last month, President Barack Obama withdrew proposed ozone-emission rules that businesses said would have killed jobs.

According to an Alaska Dispatch​ story, the area that received drilling approval is 2.8 million acres and companies bid $2.6 billion in an auction for drilling rights, with fossil fuel conglomerates Shell and ConocoPhillips leading the way. The Associated Press​ (AP) wrote, “Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc…spent $2.1 billion for the leases in 2008.” 

Sarah Palin puts polar bears on thin ice

In May 2008, the polar bear was listed by the US government as a threatened species, and Alaska's government responded by filing a legal challenge. Alaskan politicians also scrambled to fund “research” proving that the bears are - you guessed it - not in any trouble at all. Of course, one of the first “scientists” they called is yet another global warming denier.

It turns out that Sarah Palin has played a starring role in the science fiction drama. The UK Guardian breaks the news.

Polar Bear Listed as a "Threatened Species" by the US Department of the Interior

The US Department of the Interior has just announced that is has listed the Polar Bear as a “Threatened Species” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Here's a copy of the news release, analysis to follow shortly on what this means for oil exploration in Alaska:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today announced that he is accepting the recommendation of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dale Hall to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Enter the Inhofian Polar Bear Expert

What a coincidence.

Just as the Alaska State Legislature allocates $2 million for a conference promoting climate change deniers' “expert” analysis of why polar bears aren't really endangered, a poster boy for polar bear junk science emerges from the woodwork. Enter J. Scott Armstrong , who is a marketing professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

His research emphasizes forecasting methods, which he has used as the cornerstone for - you guessed it - claims that the IPCC climate change projections are actually all wrong.

Global warming is costly, devastating to infrastructure in Alaska

A new study has found that many of Alaska’s roads, runways, railroads and water and sewer systems will wear out more quickly and cost more to fix because of climate change. From now to 2030, rising temperatures, melting permafrost, reduction of polar ice and increased flooding are expected to boost repair and replacement costs by 20 per cent to as much as $6.1 billion US.

Remote Alaskan villages struggle with consequences of climate change

In Alaska and northern Canada, the once-permanently frozen subsoil known as permafrost, which many native settlements rest upon, is now melting due to warming air and ocean temperatures. And sea ice that would normally protect coastal villages is forming later in the year, allowing fall storms to erode the shoreline.

Rapid climate change threatens world’s largest creatures

A new report entitled “Whales in hot water?” says whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans) face increasing threats from global warming as rising sea temperatures destroy polar habitats and undermine their food sources.

U.S. stifles officials from responding to global warming questions

Internal memorandums circulated in Alaska’s federal Fish and Wildlife Service appear to muzzle government biologists traveling abroad in Arctic countries from discussing climate change, polar bears or sea ice without official authorization. Only those who “understand the administration’s position” can talk to the issues.

Attack on Gore’s film countered; polar bears are drowning due to melting ice

CNSNews has run an attack on Al Gore, saying An Inconvenient Truth should be disqualified from the Oscar it is widely expected to win for best documentary. The attack was based on a book entitled “Eco-Freaks,” which downplayed the threat to polar bears posed by global warming. But a story in the London Sunday Times backs the former US vice-president.

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