Category Archives: Environmental Concerns / Palin’s Environmental Policies & Positions

Sarah Palin Says Barack Obama Should Boycott Copenhagen Climate Talks

Sarah Palin "can't say with assurance that man's activities cause weather changes."

Sarah Palin "can't say with assurance that man's activities cause weather changes" and "any potential benefits of proposed emissions reduction policies are far outweighed by their economic costs."

In the practice of preaching to the choir, Sarah Palin appears to have all but patented the art of saying what a few want to hear — and it’s an all-new tune now.

Palin, who was the Republican Party’s nominee for vice president, is suggesting that President Barack Obama “boycott” an international conference on climate change underway in Copenhagen, because some hacked emails questioning the ethics of some scientists at a university in Great Britain have given the obstinate opposition to the concept of global warming, let alone the science involving man’s hand in climate change, all the fuel it needs to declare the case closed, conference over, thank you ma’am.

The president’s withdrawal from the conference, with an appearance planned near the summit’s finish next week, would come as quite a surprise to a global community that has witnessed the reengagement of the United States in an international dialog about the fate of the planet from which the previous president had all but withdrawn until the end of his second term.

But, for a share of the American electorate which fears the consequences of limitations on the emissions of pollutants that could force the U.S. to find alternative, and in some cases more costly, sources of energy – the fabled “energy tax” – talk such as Palin’s comes straight from the wand of the maestro.

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Why the Washington Post Was Right to Publish Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin‘s column today in the Washington Post calling for President Obama to boycott the Copenhagen summit is pure malarkey. Which is why the Post was absolutely right to print it.

Those who are claiming that the column was factually inaccurate miss the point. Since when has anything that Palin ever said been accurate? It’s like accusing Sarah Silverman of failing to be serious or Hugh Hefner of being promiscuous.

Palin isn’t interested in accuracy, but causing a stir and, above all, positioning herself as a serious candidate for the GOP’s nomination in 2012, which keeps moving to the right, partly in response to Palin and partly because Palin is responding to it. So far, she’s done an excellent job of trying to establish herself as a major voice in the party. Now she needs to tackle policy, and she’s doing it.

Her column epitomizes conservative conspiracy thinking and ventilates her views rather deftly (does anyone think that Palin actually wrote it?). It accuses a cabal of radical scientists of pushing alarmism about global warming. To be sure, Palin, in order to give her views a veneer of sobriety, concedes that warming is actually taking place, just that it can’t be pinned on humans. How come conservatives, who are always stressing individual moral responsibility, suddenly abdicate it when it comes to global warming?

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In Spite of Sarah Palin’s Objection: Cooks Inlet Whales to Get Hatitat Protection

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is no friend to the endangered Cook Inlet Beluga whales.

In October, 2008, former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin strongly objected, when the US Fisheries Service listed the Cook Inlet beluga whale as endangered. In addition, before making the decision to quit as governor, Palin threatened to sue over the endangered status of the whale.

On December 1, 2009, after an October 29th notice of intent to sue by Center for Biological Diversity, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finally announced habitat designation for the Cook Inlet beluga whale. The proposal would encompass 3,016 square miles to include parts of Cook Inlet (the whale’s primary summer habitat), mid-Cook Inlet; also the western shore of lower Cook Inlet, and Kachemak Bay on the eastern side.

“While today’s proposal is an important step toward protecting the Cook Inlet beluga, protections for the species remains far from complete,” said Brendan Cummings, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity in Anchorage. “Critical habitat designation should be promptly finalized and expanded to include the lower Inlet. Moreover, the Fisheries Service needs to prepare a recovery plan and stop freely handing out permits to industry allowing the beluga’s habitat to be developed and disturbed.”

The Endangered Species Act was a law enacted in 1973 to protect threatened species and by extension, the specie’s habitat.

Endangered Species Act (5)(A) The term “critical habitat” for a threatened or endangered species means—(i) the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of this Act, on which are found those physical or biological features (I) essential to the conservation of the species and (II) which may require special management considerations or protection.

The ESA law is clear that vital habitat in which an endangered animal lives must to be protected to promote the growth and health of the population. Industry and politics should not supersede the ESA designation, although attempts to do so occur on a regular basis.

Far too often, federal agencies face political pressures and will delay taking action until they are forced by conservation groups, like The Center for Biological Diversity, to uphold the laws within the ESA.

After Sarah Palin left Alaskan politics, lieutenant governor Sean Parnell was sworn in to take her place. Parnell took up Palin’s stand on protecting industry–over wildlife.

“Listing more than 3,000 square miles of Cook Inlet as critical habitat would do little to help grow the beluga population, but it would devastate economic opportunities in the region,” Governor Parnell said. “The beluga whale population has been coexisting with industry for years. The main threat facing belugas was over-harvest, which is now regulated under a cooperative harvest management plan. Belugas are also protected under the Marine Mammal Act.”

Yet, hunting the whales became illegal a decade ago and they have continued to decline. According to statistics from NOAA, the estimated Cook Inlet beluga whale population has dwindled from 1,300 individuals down to 300 whales.

NOAA’s official announcement contends: recovery of Cook Inlet whales is potentially hindered by severe stranding events; continued development within and along upper Cook Inlet; industrial and municipal activities that discharge or accidentally spill pollutants; disease; predation by killer whales and losses of available prey to fishing or loss of prey habitat. Protecting habitat is essential to the beluga whales’ recovery.

The Cook Inlet whale is one of five species of beluga or white whales and is a genetically distinct in comparison to the four other distant populations of belugas. Normally, belugas move from pod to pod, but that is geographically not possible for the Cooks Inlet whales.

Belugas tend to be the most social, playful, and interactive of the cetacean species and are the only whales known to swim backwards, making them popular attractions at theme parks.

NOAA’s announcement signals the opening of a public comment period that will remain open until January 31, 2010. The designation will not be finalized until spring. Once the designation is final, federal agencies would have to consult with NOAA’s Fisheries Services to make sure there would be no adverse effect to the whale’s habitat before permits for new development could be issued.

Sarah Palin has moved on from her failed bid as John McCain’s Vice president and her short stent as governor of Alaska; to the media spotlight of her book tour promoting “Going Rogue.”

But Governor Parnell, true to his predecessor Sarah Palin and her kill-baby-kill attitude toward wolves, polar bears, whales, and other wildlife—has indicated the state will review all legal options regarding the listing and the proposed critical habitat protection.

The fight may not be over, so it is vitally important to encourage NOAA to proceed with the designated protection of the whale’s habitat and restore this vital natural resource for all Alaskans and nature lovers for generations to come.

Send comments to: Assistant Regional Administrator, Protected Resources, Alaska Region, NOAA Fisheries, ATTN: Ellen Sebastian. Comments must be identified by “RIN 0648-AX50” and sent by any one of the following methods:

Electronic submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal website at http://www.regulations.gov
Mail: P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK, 99802-1668.
Fax: 907-586-7557
Hand deliver to the Federal Building: 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK

Perhaps, at long last, the smiling white faces of Cooks Inlet whales will begin to frolic in clean, undisturbed, pristine waters, and be recognized as the valued natural asset they are to the region and to the world.

More information the status of the Cook Inlet WhaleCenter for Biological Diversity

Jean Williams
Examiner.com

Alaska Fights Federal Government to Reverse Polar Bear Threatened Species Status

Polar bears stranded on melting ice.

Polar bears stranded on melting Arctic ice floes.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell says he has the best interest of polar bears at heart, but he doesn’t intend to let the federal government’s expanded protection for bears get in the way of the state’s continued prosperity.

Like his predecessor, Sarah Palin, the governor is suing the federal government to overturn the listing of the iconic symbol of the Arctic as a threatened species, a move made last year that he believes could threaten Alaska’s lifeblood: petroleum development.

“Currently some are attempting to improperly use the Endangered Species Act to shut down resource development,” Parnell says. “I’m not going to let this happen on my watch.”

As Alaska North Slope wells dry up, the state is turning to potential offshore discoveries to refill the Trans-Alaska pipeline and ensure the long-term prospects of a $26 billion proposed natural gas pipeline. Protections for polar bears under the Endangered Species Act could thwart that, Parnell says, adding that they’re not needed.

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Alaskans Await Progress on Palin Pipeline Plan

Strategic projects 30 years in the making - proposed routes for the Alaska and MacKenzie natural gas pipelines to western Canada and the lower 48 U.S. states

Strategic projects 30 years in the making - proposed routes for the Alaska and MacKenzie natural gas pipelines to western Canada and the lower 48 U.S. states

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Sarah Palin hit the vice presidential campaign trail last year and touted what Alaska could provide for the rest of America — a natural gas pipeline to help lead the country to energy independence.

When a pipeline might be built remains a giant question for Alaskans who need the project to support a vulnerable economy and for the Lower 48 states that need the gas. But an expert who spent more than 25 years in the Alaska Department of Revenue says it may never happen under Palin’s plan.

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Alaska’s North Slope Mapped for Polar Bears Habitat

Alaskan habitat mapped for polar bears.

Alaskan habitat mapped for polar bears.

A vast swath of icy sea, barrier islands and coastal land on Alaska’s oil-rich North Slope will be granted special protection because of its importance to the threatened polar bear, under a proposal released this week by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The agency proposes that 518,000 sq km of coastline and shallow Arctic Ocean waters be designated as critical habitat, a status of heightened protection afforded under the Endangered Species Act.

The area, which would be the largest ever designated for an Endangered Species Act-listed population, overlaps the territory with the largest existing oil fields in the United States where companies operate and plan to explore more.

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Sarah Palin’s Wolf Kill Program Increasing Moose For Non-Alaskan Trophy Hunters

Alaskan Wolves - Alaska is home to the largest remaining population of gray wolves in the United States. But ironically, at the same time that heroic efforts proceed to restore wolves to portions of their former habitat in the lower 48 states, wolves in Alaska continue to be intensively hunted and killed.

Alaskan Wolves - Alaska is home to the largest remaining population of gray wolves in the United States. But ironically, at the same time that heroic efforts proceed to restore wolves to portions of their former habitat in the lower 48 states, wolves in Alaska continue to be intensively hunted and killed.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Alaska wildlife management program in which wolves are shot from low-flying airplanes and black bears are baited and snared is helping to increase the numbers of moose and caribou, state wildlife officials say.

The program has long been the target of wildlife conservation groups who view it as state-sponsored slaughter. Last fall, one of those groups launched an ad criticizing then-Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, for expanding the program.

State officials contend the program is aimed at helping rural Alaskans, who rely on hunting to survive and had complained there wasn’t enough game to hunt and eat.

The program began under Palin’s predecessor, Gov. Frank Murkowski. Private citizens are permitted to shoot wolves from the air or conduct land-and-shoot hunting of wolves in six rural areas of the state.

Since the program began in 2003, over 1,000 wolves and hundreds of black bears have been killed in an effort to drive down the number of predators.

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