Yesterday, President Donald Trump announced the nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White to chair the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). Chairman Rob Bishop released the following statement: “Kathleen Hartnett White is a great choice to help the administration realign priorities at CEQ. Over the past eight years, this executive office has attempted to use the National Environmental Policy Act as a tool to stonewall any project with a federal nexus. I look forward to working with her on a long overdue streamlining of NEPA and other efforts to improve the efficiency and responsiveness of the administrative state to people.”
Our comment: We reported, editorialized and even testified extensively when President Obama’s CEQ set about at his direction to circumvent Congress on a vital issue that we hope Chairman Bishop and Chairwoman White will tackle: total elimination of the Ocean Policy Council. Obama circumvented Congress by undertaking such a vast national interest program without legislative support. But he also misappropriated funds Congress had approved for over a dozen federal agencies in order to support his grand scheme to “zone the oceans” under the mantle of a scientific effort to create “spacial planning” of one of America’s top natural resources. For example, we saw Department of Interior public affairs officers facilitating visits of the CEQ throughout Alaska. The fact that the ocean values have already been extensively managed and regulated and protected by federal and state governments didn’t matter. The OPC mission would have overlain all existing restrictions with a whole other matrix of restricted access.
You’ve a big job, Chairman Bishop, but from what we’ve seen we know that you and your committee and fellow Members of the House are up to the task. Hopefully, the Senate will follow in such an effort. We would note that if one accounted for all the funds Obama spent illegally on the Ocean Policy voyage, that amount could easily be deducted from all of the agencies he misappropriated it from since they obviously survived without use of that money. -dh
Footnote: As you read the items below, we can be thankful that, at least in Washington, the worst of the socialist and incompetent legacies from the Obama years are being neutralized. In Alaska, we face fiscal crisis with a wanting navigator at the helm of our ship of state. In Canada, it seems most of the provinces and the federal government are overtaken with socialist policies. Those politically correct, anti-fossil fuel, illogical approaches are crushing the Canadian economic foundation built by the now-demeaned natural resource pioneers. While there is still hope, sad legacies of government dependency and dominance are still being woven into the culture, economy and regulatory morass of Canada and Alaska. Time to rise up. -dh
And…are there lessons our Canadian friends can learn from Alaska’s unhappy case histories?
Yesterday, we saw how local Fairbanks politicians are preparing to ask for more money to fund their government subsidized gas utility. You’d think South Central Alaska ratepayers would be resisting. After all, they paid for their utilities from rates and a few years ago had insufficient local gas reserves to support their own gas and electric power needs. (Are South Central politicians are too busy giving Fairbanks politicians a free utility in exchange for all the pork they can trade for — even in the midst of Alaska’s critical fiscal crisis?) But this weekend, we’ll try to demonstrate why citizens ought to be paying more attention to this monumental waste of money. After all, saving is what prudent adults do when an economic crisis calls for saving every penny possible. A prudent state in crisis would save money whether those funds are in control of the operating budget or some so-called “Independent” agency like the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) or the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC), another waste of money.
We believe Karma awaits the leaders of this state who will someday have to answer to a future generation, “What in the world were you thinking?” -dh