Sunday September 15th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Calls From Trump To Drill Baby Drill…In Alaska
For as long as I have been an adult since the 1970s I’ve heard calls off and on to open up Alaska’s northern wildlife refugee for oil exploration. Prior to 1990 those against drilling there were mostly made because drilling may ruin a pristine environment, harming both wildlife and scenery. After 1990 environmentalists cited global warming, also, as a problem. Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was the Keystone Pipeline of its day, perilous to touch by politicians, a proverbial line in the sand that could not be crossed. At a time when the American public is rapidly beginning to realize that climate change is a very real existential threat, Trump and his allies are going to open the Arctic Refuge for drilling, or at least they have concrete plans to do so.
Well my friends, here we see greed at its finest. Take a further look:
Trump administration opens huge wildlife refuge in Alaska to drilling – “This destructive, unlawful plan would sell off one of America’s last great wildlands to the highest bidder”
A herd of caribou in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Steven Kazlowski / Alamy
By Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin
13 September 2019
(The Washington Post) – The Trump administration on Thursday said it would seek to open up the entire coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, picking the most aggressive development option for an area long closed to drilling.
In filing a final environmental impact statement, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management took a key step closer to holding an oil and gas lease sale for the nearly 1.6 million-acre coastal plain, which is part of the 19.3 million-acre ANWR.
The administration said its preferred plan would call for the construction of as many as four places for airstrips and well pads, 175 miles of roads, vertical supports for pipelines, a seawater treatment plant and a barge landing and storage site.
The refuge — home to polar bears, wolves, migratory birds, and the porcupine caribou herd — has long been closed off to oil and gas exploration despite long-standing interest among members of the petroleum industry. Climate change has made the area more delicate as melting ice has driven threatened polar bears to spend more time in dens along the refuge’s coastal plain.
But a controversial provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 provided for opening up ANWR’s coastal plain to drilling and ordered the administration to hold at least two lease sales within seven years.
Margaret Everson, principal deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said in a statement that the plan would “protect high-value wildlife habitats and important uses in this area, while advancing the President’s agenda on energy independence.”
A herd of musk ox graze in an area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Photo: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge / AP
Environmental groups deplored the administration’s move.
Defenders of Wildlife issued a statement saying that the BLM’s “destructive, unlawful plan would sell off one of America’s last great wildlands to the highest bidder.” Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and chief executive of the group, called the administration’s actions “categorically illegal” and “presents an existential threat to threatened polar bears and is opposed by 70 percent of Americans.”
“By opening the entire coastal plain to oil drilling, the Trump administration has ignored data showing likely impacts on wildlife including the Porcupine Caribou Herd and polar bears,” said Lois Epstein, Arctic program director of the Wilderness Society. “The sprawl from oil activities in the coastal plain allowed under the Tax Act would devastate this ecologically sensitive landscape.” […]
Some native Alaskans — including the Gwich’in, who live outside the refuge but who rely on the porcupine caribou herd that migrates through it, also decried the administration’s move.
“This document disrespects the Gwich’in Nation and all people in the Arctic and world who suffer the impacts of climate change and nonstop exploitation, while formally scratching the backs of those who seek to desecrate land and dishonor human rights to fill their pockets,” said Bernadette Demientieff, executive director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee. […]
The agency’s own official analysis indicated that drilling would affect native villages, including residents of Kaktovik, because they are the “primary users” of the refuge. The 450-person village of Nuiqsut, the agency wrote, “could experience impacts on caribou, waterfowl, and fish harvests from development.” [more]
So, that big tax cut (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017) that was a big giveaway to America’s upper class also had provisions for a “planned” auction to drill the refuge. Greedy people with uncaring attitudes for our future never cease to amaze me. Let’s hope that this will be the last time that any group tries to expand production of oil in Alaska once there is a total political turnaround here after 2020.
Here is another take:
Here is more climate and weather news from Sunday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)
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Guy Walton- “The Climate Guy”