Headlamp – A kindred spirit in AK’s U.S. District court; Flipping the bird & fiddling with mother nature?

Trump to pick former Alaska oil industry attorney for federal judgeship
Nathaniel Hetz, Alaska’s Energy Desk, October 16, 2019

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he intends to pick Joshua Kindred, a former oil industry attorney, as a new U.S. District Court judge for Alaska.  Kindred works as a lawyer in Anchorage for the U.S. Department of Interior. Before that, he was regulatory and legal affairs manager for the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, an industry group that sometimes participates in lawsuits to defend oil development in federal court.  Kindred has also worked as a state prosecutor.

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

FLIPPING THE BIRD: A federal judge gave the proverbial you-know-what Wednesday to the Trump administration’s plan to weaken protections of the threatened chicken-sized Sage Grouse.

Judge B. Lynn Winmill of the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho granted a preliminary injunction ruling that the administration failed to analyze how sage grouse would be harmed under a plan issued in March that would allow for drilling and mining activities amongst the bird’s habitat.

“It is likely that these actions will cause further declines of the sage grouse under the weakened protections,” Winmill wrote in his decision.

If Obama did it…: The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management sought to revise a previous sage grouse plan issued in 2015 by the Obama administration with the support of western states. The Obama administration decided not to list the bird as endangered — a more significant step — but protected large chunks of habitat from oil and gas drilling. The range of the grouse extends across 270,000 square miles in parts of 11 states in the western United States. The bird’s population once numbered in the millions but fell to a few hundred thousand in recent decades.

Our Take:   Here’s an  example of what can happen when the government tries to save a species:

           Owl vs. owl: Should humans intervene to save a species?

 

Democrats’ Repeal of Trump Power Rule Rollback Faces Long Odds
Chuck McCutcheon, Bloomberg Environment, October 17, 2019

Senate Democrats face an uphill battle in a vote slated for today on their attempt to repeal the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken carbon pollution limits for U.S. power plants.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowed to use expedited floor procedures under the Congressional Review Act to scrap the EPA rule but also Trump administration health regulations and a rollback of limits on state and local tax deductions in the 2017 tax law. It could be passed with just a simple majority vote.  But with Republicans controlling the Senate 53-47, Democrats would need to avoid any defections—including coal-state Democrats.