Alaska Brief Newsletter – November 2016
After the shock and frustration over the results of the national election, Trustees is preparing for the sustained and tougher battles ahead. A Trump presidency will actively tear down the protections we’ve worked decades to achieve. Trustees stands ready to engage in the fights to protect and defend Alaska’s lands, waters, wildlife, and people.
Our constitutional democracy is the root of our rights as Alaskans and Americans. A Trump presidency is a clear and present danger to these values. We have heard President-elect Trump threaten to abolish the US Environmental Protection Agency. Myron Ebell, one of the best-known climate change skeptics, is spearheading Trump’s transition plans for EPA and may become the Administrator. This does not bode well for protecting clean air, clean water, and protections from toxic pollution. And could directly interfere with any protections for Bristol Bay from Pebble.
Names on the short list for Secretary of the Interior include Forest Lucas, founder of oil products company Lucas Oil, and Sarah Palin. Given all of the rhetoric about “federal overreach,” the wild beauty of Alaska’s unique landscapes is likely to be under siege. We can anticipate a “drill, baby, drill” plan, a new effort to build a road through the Izembek Wilderness, more motorized access to wild places, and the indiscriminant pillaging of wildlife, especially wolves and bears.
President-elect Trump plans to lift restrictions on tapping energy reserves, overturn President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, and stop contributions to United Nations climate change programs. We can’t continue on the path of dirty fossil fuels reigning supreme. If we do, all progress made toward curtailing impacts from climate change will be squandered.
The list of rollbacks Trump has signaled goes on and more will come to light in the months of the transition. We all thought that the presidency of George W. Bush would be a war on the environment. Those fears pale in comparison to the struggles to come.
The next four years will be some of the toughest years for conservation. We undoubtedly have our work cut out for us. But Trustees is poised and ready for the fight. We know it is time to roll up our sleeves and dig in. And we also know that we will only be successful if we all work as a team to stand strong. Trustees needs the financial and moral support of people like you now more than ever. I know we can count on your support over the coming years to protect the Alaska, and indeed the world, we all cherish.
PS: Your support of Trustees for Alaska is critical now more than ever.
The US District Court reaffirmed coal mining at Wishbone Hill cannot be conducted under decades-old, stale permits!
In late October, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard argument in Sturgeon v. Frost, a case challenging the National Park Service’s authority to regulate boating activities to protect Alaska’s national parks and preserves.
Pebble is not spending the money necessary to fully clean-up Bristol Bay after decades of intensive mineral exploration. Now, the company wants a new permit and the question is whether DNR is going to hold Pebble responsible for its mess.
We’re looking for a professional philanthropy specialist to take our development department to the next level.