|Personal: We join our Fairbanks friends in lamenting the passing of our dear friend, Bob Bettisworth. -dh|
As Interior Secretary Sally Jewell arrives in Alaska, North Slope Borough Mayor Charlotte Brower (NGP Photo) writes that ANWR, "…wilderness proponents … completely ignore the plight of my people, the Iñupiat."
What Would You Do If You Were President?
On Sunday, Fox News interviewed one of the wisest combat leaders of the modern era, Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney, USAF-Retired (NGP Photo), co-author of Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror.
In addition to his extensive combat service, McInerney served as commanding general of the Alaska Command and coordinated military efforts in support of the Exxon Valdez clean up activity. He and his tough combat team also kept a close eye and air interception assets trained on Russian bombers, continually testing Alaskan air space defenses.*
At conclusion of the Fox interview, He was asked what he would do in the face of ISIS aggression in the Middle East. With a steady, focused gaze on the interviewer, he delivered a brief, powerful and logical response. If McInerney’s words had come from the mouth of a president, all Americans would have cheered and felt a renewed sense of national pride in strong, reliable and wise presidential leadership.
Without detouring into a war policy discussion, we would paraphrase from the McInerney interview a question from the viewpoint of our energy audience: If you were president, how would you enable the U.S. to become energy independent? So we decided to have some fun today and perhaps render a national service at the same time.**
We will give our response below, then ask our U.S. readers (and Canadian or other foreign readers) for suggestions, additions and corrections, sent to this address.
Here we go:
“If I were president, I would enable the U.S. to become energy independent in these ways:”
- "I would approve the Keystone XL pipeline before going to bed tonight, based on earlier, plentiful recommendations of the Department of State; the 40 thousand jobs it will produce; the hundreds of millions of dollars it will provide to local, state and federal governments; the improved national defense capabilities created by greater energy and economic independence; and the benefits that will flow to our largest trading partner, Canada."
- "I would approve oil and gas exploration and development on a small sliver of land within the 19 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. That sliver is roughly the size of Dulles Airport within a land mass the size of the state of North Carolina – which itself is a small part of the entire state of Alaska. That land sliver has already been designated by Congress for oil and gas potential. I would approve it for mostly winter work when the migratory wildlife are not in the area."
- "I would open the entire National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska to energy leasing subject to our customary stringent rules. I would not keep half of it locked up – and the other half choked with irresponsible regulatory barriers — as the Obama administration has done."
- "I would ask of Alaska's Governor, 'We know the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) is now running at almost 3/4 empty. What can the Federal government do with its federal assets to keep TAPS operating sustainably, since for my administration this energy umbilical cord attaches the United States to the huge, future oil potential of the Arctic?'"
- "Since 3/4 of America's coastline surrounds Alaska, a state 20% the size of the entire nation and over twice as large as Texas, I would give Alaska's governor — and Congressional Delegation — an open invitation to suggest federal policies that improve Alaska's economy while protecting the environment and strengthening the entire nation."
- "I would massively restrict the size of many regulatory agencies, including the EPA, which has become a monster devouring the wealth of America without much to show for it — except a ballooning bureaucracy and economic devastation wherever it rolls. I would tell the EPA it cannot preemptively disapprove projects, in violation of the rule of law. I would order the agency to lay off Hydraulic Fracturing and leave its regulation to the states, which have safely regulated it for decades."
- "I would immediately nullify Obama's overreaching and unlawful executive orders. The famous ones deal with exceptions to the Affordable Care Act and providing massive citizen benefits to illegal alien non-citizens, but also include illegal, non-Congressionally approved natural resource blocking proposals, like the Ocean Policy executive order."
- "I would work with Congress to eliminate the possibility of opaque 'sue and settle' litigation, which impoverishes the country one lawsuit at a time. I would coordinate with Congress other judicial branch reforms that would remove any financial incentives for filing frivolous environmental lawsuits that would delay or block jobs and reasonable economic development.”
- "I would form an American Energy Independence Presidential Task Force, to include a special sub-committee on Alaskan Arctic Energy and Military policies." The purpose of the Task Force would be:
- to provide the President and Congress with detailed suggestions on how America may develop a rational, long term, sustainable energy policy based upon energy self-sufficiency and support of the nation's defense.
- to assure that energy and military policy recommendations included defending and advocating for proper jurisdictional control of Arctic sea, sea bottom and trade routes.
- to complete its work within six months,
"I would ask Congress to support the resulting FINAL, sustainable energy policy of which I approve. ”
- “I would replace the White House Council on Environmental Quality with a new White House Council on Economic and Environmental Policy. Under my direct supervision, the Council will provide a steady stream of recommendations about how to reorganize Executive Branch agencies to best accommodate any FINAL, sustainable energy policy recommended by the American Energy Independence Presidential Task Force. In addition, an important role of the Council will be to review any new agency order, regulatory or statutory proposal that would affect the FINAL, sustainable energy policy adopted by the White House. Following review, the Council will make a recommendation to the President for further action. These sorts of action will include agency efforts to declare critical habitats or endangered species regulations under the ESA and similar exercises of agency powers under the CWA and CAA.”
- “I would ask the oil, gas and wind energy industries to nominate on- and off-shore areas for leasing and based on that input, as evaluated by the new White House Council on Economic and Environmental Policy, order expedited changes to the Department of Interior’s leasing programs.”
- "I would get rid of the crude oil export ban and do everything possible to arrange for U.S. energy exports to European nations dependent upon Russian energy imports."
- "I will tell our friends in the Middle East, especially the Saudis, that they cannot interfere in our domestic energy policy issues, nor can they any longer provide funding to enemies of the United States unless they are willing to lose American friendship, energy trade and military support.”
- "I will redouble efforts to coordinate energy and other international policies with our Canadian, Israeli, British, Australian and other allies."
- "I will put into place a 'US Task Force for Latin American Energy, Economic and Cultural Independence', and spend significant personal time with the Secretary of State, coordinating cooperative energy, economic development, immigration and regional defense policies with the presidents of the countries in our own hemisphere."
- "America will once again speak softly but carry a big stick. We will state our position on energy and other multilateral issues. We will clearly state the result of accommodating or opposing our reasonable requests. Based on reactions, we shall respond decisively. Our negotiations with countries that have proven to be unreliable negotiating partners in the past shall not be extended. We expect results and we will act as promised. We will never draw red lines in the sand and not enforce our positions; neither will we ever leave any American citizen, federal employee or military member to the enemy's wrath without maximum effort to save that person or those persons. Every policy we undertake will be designed to be fair, reasonable, just and serious. We shall not bargain for energy industry or other hostages but will rain negative actions on those who hold, take, threaten, mistreat or kill hostages.”
For starters, that's what we'd do for energy were we president.
Oh, and we'd make sure to always keep the good counsel of competent Americans like LTG McInerney very close to us.
Unlike certain unsavory White House guests entertained by the previous administration, I would hope to have distinguished Americans like McInerney, Franklin Graham, Greta Van Susteren, Steve Forbes, Harris Faulkner, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Alveda King, as regular visitors to the Oval Office.
(Now, Dear Reader, let's have your additions, corrections or suggestions! -dh)
*Your author had the honor of serving on LTG McInerney's Civilian Advisory Board over 2 decades ago with great friends and important figures in Alaskan history like Governor Walter J. Hickel, Publisher Bob Atwood, aviation pioneer Bill Brooks, and community leaders Sharon Anderson, Ernie Hall and Al Fleetwood.
**We would also like to ask: "What else would you do if you were President, to secure the country’s future?" The imagination rings with the President's other executive actions, EPA overreach, Fast and Furious, Federal suing of sovereign states, IRS illegal targeting, media spying, etc., but will leave that exercise to our non-energy colleagues.)
Robert Dillon of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee writes today about Interior Secretary Sally Jewell's Alaska visit.
He comments that Jewell,"is in Anchorage today preparing to host a press conference in a couple of hours on her trip to the Arctic communities of Kotzebue and Kivalina. While the secretary will undoubtedly focus her remarks on climate, I wanted to share the opinion piece below from North Slope Borough Mayor Charlotte Brower (NGP Photo). Ms. Brower, an Inupiaq Eskimo from Barrow, provides a unique counterpoint to Secretary Jewell’s efforts to lock up Alaska as if it was one big national park. Ms. Brower writes about the prosperity and economic opportunity that responsible oil production has brought to some of Alaska’s most remote communities and how this administration’s policies are endangering the future Alaskans are attempting to build for their children. -Dillon
ANWR worshippers fail to consider the Iñupiat (AK Dispatch/Opinion)
The Iñupiat Eskimo lived on Alaska’s North Slope for countless generations — unknown to the outside world. Our culture, social structure and our survival depended on our ability to utilize the abundant resources that bless our region.
Over time, we found our lifestyle threatened when the thirst for resources drove others to our corner of globe, first for whales and later for oil.
Today, we are under assault by people who seek another resource — wilderness. And just like those who came before them, they threaten the health of our communities, our culture and our way of life. President Obama’s announcement to seek wilderness designations throughout the entire Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, represents the latest salvo by the powerful environmental lobby to obtain their El Dorado. Read the rest of the Op-Ed here….
Charlotte Brower is mayor of the North Slope Borough.