House & Senate bills treat Alaska like a snow globe; POTUS ends WOTUS

Unlocking Arctic Energy Is Vital for Alaska—and America
Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Dan Sullivan, Representative Don Young, Wall Street Journal, 9/12/19

This week the House of Representatives is set to consider measures that would restrict America’s future energy supply, including one that would block responsible development in northeast Alaska. As the state’s congressional delegation, we are unified in strong opposition and believe passage would be a reckless strategic mistake. The bill in question comes from a California representative and targets the non-wilderness 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which Congress set aside in 1980 for future exploration. After years of debate, Congress agreed in 2017 to allow careful development of just 2,000 acres of the 1.5-million-acre area, itself located within the ANWR’s 19.3 million acres. This developable fraction of a fraction amounts to one ten-thousandth of the refuge.  We believe, in fairness to Alaskans, that the leasing program should proceed responsibly, with Congress and the Trump administration ensuring that lands and wildlife are cared for. All of us are working to put the proper guidelines in place. Yet some in Congress still remain eager to repeal the provision, based on misperceptions about what is at stake and what most Alaskans want.

Our Take: “For the record, the House bill should go nowhere – just like the ANWR wilderness bill introduced in the Senate yesterday. Both bills would break longstanding federal promises made to Alaskans and are opposed by solid majorities in the state. Both also treat Alaska as if it is a snow globe, rather than a state where good people live, work, and have a decades-long record of balancing economic development with environmental stewardship.”

 

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
EPA’S WOTUS REPEAL IS HERE: The Trump administration will formally repeal the Obama administration’s clean water rule — known as the Waters of the U.S., or WOTUS — Thursday afternoon.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James will announce the final rule during an event at the National Association of Manufacturers headquarters in Washington.
The manufacturers group has been a strong industry voice urging the rollback of the Obama-era WOTUS rule, which defined what bodies of water are covered under Clean Water Act protections. That 2015 rule became one of Republicans, industry, and farming group’s favorite examples in claiming regulatory overreach by the Obama EPA.
The EPA will, in a second regulatory step, replace the WOTUS rule with its own definition. The agency’s December proposal would limit the amount of protected water bodies, including by excluding ephemeral streams, most ditches, and many wetlands.
But environmentalists say the repeal and replacement of WOTUS will undercut water quality safeguards that keep Americans’ tap water clean and protect habitats.

Our Take:  A huge victory for responsible resource development!! NGO’s who claim the repeal  will do damage are just plain wrong.