ALASKA’S GOVERNOR CONTINUES MAJOR GLOBAL WARMING INITIATIVE: Our Readers Remember That It’s Not About Climate Change…It’s About “Killing Capitalism”!
Governor Bill Walker. Northern Gas Pipelines photo by Dave Harbour.
Contributing to Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s conscious or unconscious movement toward socializing the former “pioneering state” is this new climate change/global warming (GW) initiative.
It comes at a time when Alaska’s leadership is 1) deficit spending billions of dollars/year, 2) socializing the oil industry’s natural gas transportation project, 2) socializing and subsidizing an infeasible, interior Alaska gas distribution project, 3) trying to make energy deals with communist China whose history rejects the sanctity of contracts, 4) expanding Alaska’s entitlement expenses, 5) making Alaska’s AGDC and AIDEA “independent” agencies dependent and subject to his political agenda (Bondholders take note), and so much more.
We can envision this latest effort as a stalking horse for making a case for huge federal subsidies in President Trump’s approaching “infrastructure” bill. How? Rural villages that have chosen to locate close to erosion-prone oceanside locations might be in a position — with help from their agenda-driven governor — to claim that GW has destroyed their villages, meriting federal relocation funds for brand new, subsidized communities and even private residences.
Note that if Alaska politicians and Federal agencies had refused to provide financial support for construction of facilities in erosion/winter storm-prone communities over the years, properly located communities might have more naturally evolved over the decades.
See the release below, including a list of the “leadership team”, all of whom have special interest incentives, monetary and political, to develop a case for government subsidies.
Readers can bet that the pressure on Alaska’s Congressional Delegation to support an effort to grab hundreds of millions in federal taxpayer funds will be intense — and that they will comply.
As the climate change shiny object twirls in Alaska’s winter sky, we wonder what steps Alaska’s leaders are taking to trim the cost of government in today’s fiscal climate crisis. We wonder who is concerned about encouraging more oil, gas and mining exploration and development. We wonder who is concerned about the public employee retirement fund’s unfunded liability. What about the deferred maintenance on all of the government funded infrastructure all over the state? But the shiny object of climate change attracts us because with that tool perhaps we can get a really big share of potential infrastructure fund federal money, “free money”.
And who makes and advocates public policy? Wise, foolish, honest and greedy citizens. Us.
Who will win in the public policy debates? Those with the greater will and perseverance to win.
As the struggle continues, we are reminded of a former president’s firm warning that, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem!”
Governor Walker Appoints Members of Climate Action for Alaska Leadership Team
Lt. Governor Mallott to Chair first meeting set for December 18 in Anchorage
December 12, 2017 JUNEAU — Governor Bill Walker today appointed the 15 public members and five ex-officio members of the Climate Action for Alaska Leadership Team, established in October by Administrative Order 289. Governor Walker announced the team following an extensive internal review of nearly 100 applications. The team will focus on mitigation, adaptation, research, and response for Alaska.
“Naming our team is another critical step in advancing meaningful climate policy,” Governor Walker said. “I am proud to present a motivated group of leaders, each of whom brings a range of expertise and interests to the table. Our team members not only represent a breadth of experience across the state from the North Slope to the Southeast, but also have strong networks and resources spanning from Alaska to the rest of the world, giving us a voice in the global dialogue on climate change.”
Every team member is directly involved in Alaska’s collective response to climate change, with professional backgrounds in science, industry and entrepreneurship, community wellbeing and planning, natural resources, environmental advocacy and policy making. The expertise of leadership team members includes renewable energy and energy efficiency, coastal resilience, indigenous knowledge and culture, science communication, technological innovation, and transportation systems
To build upon past climate policy initiatives while also encouraging new ideas, the team includes six members who were involved with the former Sub-Cabinet on Climate Change. In addition to current and former leaders from local and tribal governments, the group has two emerging leaders who are passionate about climate solutions that will protect and empower future generations.
Lt. Governor Byron Mallott has been appointed by the governor to chair the leadership team. “This dynamic group has the experience, ideas and enthusiasm to develop actionable policy recommendations in response to our changing climate,” Mallott said. “Their collective advice and recommendations for climate priorities, actions, and goals will provide invaluable guidance to the Governor and Alaskans as we work together to address the challenges and opportunities associated with climate change.”
The first meeting of the team will take place on December 18, 2017, in Anchorage. The Institute of the North, who has played a key support role for previous efforts such as the Alaska Arctic Council Host Committee, will serve as secretariat for the team. The team will provide the Governor and his cabinet with recommendations and guidance on climate change on an ongoing basis.
Below: Climate Action for Alaska Leadership Team Members
Ralph Andersen (Dillingham)
Ralph Andersen is the President and CEO of Bristol Bay Native Association and a
member of Clarks Point Tribal Council. Ralph is also Chairman of the Bristol Bay
Partnership and the Western Alaska Salmon Coalition, and is former Co-Chairman of
the Alaska Federation of Natives.
Linda Behnken (Sitka)
Linda Behnken is the Executive Director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s
Association (ALFA) and has 34 years of experience as a commercial fisherman.
Linda is a Commissioner of the International Pacific Halibut Commission and has
previously served on the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council.
Lisa Busch (Sitka)
Lisa Busch is the Executive Director of the non-profit Sitka Sound Science Center,
where she is responsible for operations and organizational development and health.
Lisa has prior career experience as a radio producer and environmental journalist,
and has worked extensively in providing communication training for scientists.
Luke Hopkins (Fairbanks)
Luke Hopkins is former Mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and has
previously served on the Borough Assembly and the Board of Directors of the Alaska
Municipal League. Luke was a member of the Immediate Action Work Group of the
former Sub-Cabinet on Climate Change, where he helped to develop policies to
protect coastal communities imminently threatened by climate change.
John Hopson, Jr. (Wainwright)
John Hopson, Jr. is Mayor of the City of Wainwright, President of the North Slope
Borough Assembly, Chairman of the Eskimo Whaling Commission and Vice
Chairman of the Voice of the Arctic Inupiat. John has been engaged as both a
community and corporate leader on the North Slope for over a decade.
Nicole Kanayurak (Utqiaġvik)
Nicole Kanayurak is a 2017 Knauss Marine Policy Fellow working in the NOAA
Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, focusing on international
fisheries legislation and negotiations. Nicole is currently the youth representative to
the Inuit Circumpolar Council and former representative to Future Arctic Leaders,
and has held a variety of positions working for the North Slope Borough.
Mara Kimmel (Anchorage)
Mara Kimmel is the First Lady of Anchorage and is adjunct faculty at the Institute of
Social and Economic Research at UAA. Mara’s doctoral research focused on the
relationship between land rights, governance and human development in Arctic and
Meera Kohler (Anchorage)
Meera Kohler is the President and CEO of Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC), a non-profit electric utility owned by the residents of 58 communities throughout Alaska. Meera was a member of the former Alaska Climate Change Sub-
Michael LeVine (Juneau)
Michael LeVine is the Senior Arctic Fellow at Ocean Conservancy. Michael’s work
focuses on sustainable management and stewardship of ocean resources, as well as
the creation of economic opportunity in the face of changing ocean conditions.
Mark Masteller (Palmer)
Mark Masteller is an Assistant Professor at University of Alaska where he teaches
classes on energy efficiency and renewable energy as part of the sustainable energy
program. Mark serves as the Alaska Director for the Cascadia Green Building Council
and as a board member for the Matanuska Electric Association. He has over 20 years
of experience in wildlife research and management as a wildlife biologist.
Molly McCammon (Anchorage)
Molly McCammon is the Executive Director of the Alaska Ocean Observing System
(AOOS). As part of her work, Molly leads the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network
and co-leads the Alaska Harmful Algal Bloom Network and the Alaska Integrated
Water Level Observing Network.
Denise Michels (Nome)
Denise Michels is a former Mayor of Nome and recently joined DOWL as a Senior
Project Manager and will work with Newtok. Previously, while at Kawerak, Denise
helped Shishmaref with their relocation efforts. Denise is a former member of the
Inuit Circumpolar Council, the Alaska Arctic Council Host Committee, the Northern
Waters Task Force, and the Adaptation Advisory Group of the former Sub-Cabinet
on Climate Change.
Chris Rose (Anchorage)
Chris Rose is the founder and Executive Director of the Renewable Energy Alaska
Project (REAP), which is dedicated to increasing renewable energy and energy
efficiency throughout Alaska. Chris was a member of the Mitigation Advisory Group
of the former Climate Change Sub-Cabinet, and has previously served as the
Commissioner of the Mat-Su Borough Planning Commission.
Isaac Vanderburg (Anchorage)
Isaac Vanderburg is the Executive Director of Launch Alaska, Alaska’s first energy
accelerator. Launch Alaska is focused on building companies in the energy sector
who are working on climate solutions in the sectors of food, water, energy and
Janet Weiss (Anchorage)
Janet Weiss is the President of BP Alaska Region and has worked in the energy
industry for over 30 years, with experience in Alaska, Wyoming and the Gulf of
Mexico. Janet is a member of the Alaska Oil and Gas Advisory Board and the
University of Alaska Fairbanks Advisory Board.
Ex Officio Members:
Duncan Fields (Kodiak)
Duncan Fields is a technical advisor to the Gulf of Alaska Coastal Communities
Coalition and the owner of Shoreside Consulting, a natural resources consulting firm
based in Kodiak, Alaska. Duncan is an attorney and fisheries advocate, former
member of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council and former president of
the Kodiak Island Borough School District.
Jim Johnsen (Fairbanks)
Jim Johnsen is the current President of the University of Alaska, as well as a
commissioner on the Denali Commission and a member of the Alaska Aerospace
Corporation Board. Jim’s many executive roles in higher education have included
statewide academic initiatives to align primary and secondary education sectors and
to achieve higher attainment levels throughout Alaska.
Reggie Joule (Kotzebue)
Reginald (“Reggie”) Joule is a former state legislator in the Alaska House of
Representatives and former Mayor of the Northwest Arctic Borough, as well as a
member of the UK-based Polar Research and Policy Initiative. While serving as
Mayor, Reggie was appointed by President Obama to the President’s State, Local and
Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.
Sam Schimmel (Kenai Peninsula & St. Lawrence Island)
Sam Schimmel is a student and alumni of the Center for Native American Youth
(CNAY) Champions for Change Program. Sam has worked on numerous legislative
and executive initiatives for Native youth, including a 2016 bill establishing the
Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children and a
roundtable discussion with Alaska’s congressional delegation and Governor at the
2017 Alaska Federation of Natives conference.
Fran Ulmer (Anchorage)
Fran Ulmer is Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and former Lieutenant
Governor of Alaska. Fran is a member of the Global Board of the Nature
Conservancy and the Board of the National Parks Conservation Commission, and
was appointed to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
and Offshore Drilling.