Governor Parnell and his supporting policy makers have shown their true colors over and over and as a result, I have absolutely no confidence in their ability to manage all of Alaska’s natural resources with any kind of balanced approach.
The governor’s stance on Coastal Management, the fear mongering concerning the oil pipeline shutdown and an immediate tax giveaway without guarantees; his support for Carlo Rossi, a guide under indictment for wildlife poaching and no formal wildlife managing degree to direct wildlife conservation for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and support for changing the Department of Natural Resources mission statement all point to tunnel vision.
And as long as we are having a more factual conversation, I recently read an article in a trade journal that quoted information put out by officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It states that 90% of toxic chemicals released in the Pacific Northwest for 2010 came from the metal mining industry in Alaska. A majority of the 835 million pounds of toxic chemicals released were persistant, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals, (PBT’s), that persist in the environment and accumulate in food chains posing risk to human health and ecosystems. This would, in itself, make me want to question the assurances from the governor’s office, the DNR and pro-Pebble groups that we can fully trust the current permitting process.
All this, in my mind, does not bode well for fish and game, endangered species, clean air and water or any other sustainable resource that must rely on meaningful science-based conservation to survive for future generations.